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Would filtering the Internet at public colleges and universities violate the First Amendment?
 
Don't certain kinds of harsh or insensitive speech tend to silence others' free expression, thereby working against the free exchange of ideas?
 
Can't a public college stadium prohibit fan profanity because there are kids in the stands?
 
May I hand out election-campaign literature on public land?
 
Why shouldn't public colleges be allowed some say in the type of research done by their professors or the funding sources if a line of inquiry might negatively affect the school?
 
What is academic freedom?
 
Is academic freedom limited to professors?
 
As long as they don't discriminate against certain speakers or messages, what's wrong with campus free-speech zones?
 
What about independent student newspapers or fliers? Can schools control their distribution?
 
Are college journalists entitled to all the same liberties as professional journalists?
 
How independent are public college/university-operated electronic media?
 
What if other students try to prevent distribution of student publications that they find offensive?
 
Are public colleges permitted to put any restrictions on the student groups that they will recognize? What if activities advocated by a group are illegal?
 
Can a college student invoke his or her religious beliefs to avoid engaging in an objectionable type of artistic expression?
 
A college professor makes references to materials of a sexual nature during his lecture. Could he be disciplined for such comments or is this protected speech?
 
 

It likely depends on whether the speech in question is germane to the subject matter and advances a legitimate educational objective. If the speech is totally unrelated to the subject matter, then an academic freedom claim will fail. On the other hand, if the speech relates to a valid educational objective and is related to the subject matter, the professor could make a defense based on academic freedom.

It also depends on the university’s policy with regard to sexual harassment. For instance, one federal appeals court ruled in 1996 that a university could not discipline a professor who used vulgar language and talked about sexual topics in his English class because the university’s policy was too vague and had never been applied to the professor’s controversial teaching style. The court wrote in Cohen v. San Bernardino Valley College that “the Policy is simply too vague … in this case.” The court noted later in its analysis that “the legal issues raised in this case are not readily discernible and the appropriate conclusion is not so clear.”

Other relevant factors would be: the frequency and severity of the sexual comments; whether the comments targeted specific individuals or were of a more general nature; whether the professor had notice that his or her teaching methods crossed the line; and whether prior complaints had been filed and were made known to the professor.

 
 
Can people who oppose a speaker's message use their 'freedom of speech' to drown out the offending words?
 
What exactly is 'directory information'?
 
Why would the news media want or need personal information about individual students or incidents?
 
May a student sue a private university for damages under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)?
 
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Last system update: Friday, July 25, 2008 | 09:26:09
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