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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?
 
 

Many college campuses continue to deal with the problem of students' confiscating newspapers to prevent the circulation of stories or ideas that they find offensive. Every year cases are reported where entire runs of a publication are stolen, depriving the campus of the opportunity to even consider what was published. Unfortunately, very few of these instances have resulted in meaningful punishment of the offenders.

The problem in punishing those who steal papers is twofold. From the legal perspective, it is difficult to successfully prosecute the perpetrators for theft, as the newspapers are distributed free to whoever chooses to pick one (or 1,000) up. Prosecutors in a handful of cases have used charges of criminal mischief and vandalism, in addition to the more conventional theft charges, to secure punishment for those responsible for stealing papers. But the vast majority of such incidents go unheard by courts of law. Some universities have been accused of downplaying the importance of mass newspaper thefts out of fear of further offending various groups.

 
 
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?
 
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: Saturday, April 24, 2010 | 15:10:01
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