Georgia Puts the Kibosh on Universities’ Anti-Liberty ‘Free Speech Zones’ – Opinion

If you’ve spent time at colleges in recent years, you might’ve encountered a “free speech zone.” But in Georgia, such a thing can’t any longer exist.

Governor. Brian Kemp signed HB 1 (also known as Forming Open, Robust University Minds Act) into law.

This legislation will end the First Amendment nonsense at universities and public colleges.

For those unfamiliar with the state of school speech, Georgia’s Libertarian Party provides a description previous to the bill becoming law:

“[F]ree speech zones”…physically contain political, religious, or other controversial speech to certain areas of campus. … As it sits now, students are given less than one percent of the entire campus for “free” speech.

Zack Pruitt, Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel and author of The College Fix, offers additional information:

“Restricting free speech to small, out-of-the-way areas of campus limits the ability of students and student organizations to effectively communicate their message. … In one GA case, Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski, Georgia Gwinnett College had two tiny ’free speech zones’ that made up .0015% of campus which severely limited the ability of student Chike Uzuegbunam to share his faith with others.”

HB1’s action, from the measure itself:

To prevent the creation of “free speech zones” at such public institutions of higher education; to allow for reasonable, content- and viewpoint-neutral, and narrowly tailored time, place, and manner restrictions on expressive activity at public institutions of higher education; to prohibit material and substantial disruption of protected expressive activity at public institutions of higher education; to require public institutions of higher education to provide public notice of rules and expectations regarding expressive activity; to require public institutions of higher education to develop materials, programs, and procedures related to expressive activity; to provide for a short title; to provide for definitions; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

A free speech zone is a sign of profound cultural changes. These days, a “free speech” sign is much more likely to serve as warning than welcome.

The following picture is allegedly taken at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Whether or not the photo is legitimate, it’s a solid illustration of higher education’s shift.

Nevertheless, speech is still being used in public.

Academics Fear the ‘Hate’ of Free Speech as a Liberated Twitter Looms

Jen Psaki Decries the ‘Harm’ and ‘Misinformation’ of Free Twitter, but America Was Founded on Our Right to Be Wrong

MSNBC Warns That Free Speech On Twitter Would Be a ‘Danger’ to Free Speech — and It Perfectly Captures Where We Are

There is no such thing as a constant. Yet, not so long ago — and for a very, very long time — we all had access to a giant free speech zone. This was called America.

Students in Georgia will enjoy a little old-school freedom with the signing of HB1.



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