The Problem with Bias Reporting Systems

Bias Reporting Systems (BRSs) are procedures or teams at colleges and universities across the country which encourage students to report “bias incidents” they observe on campus. These teams consist of faculty, staff, and sometimes law enforcement. Students are encouraged to report “bias incidents” to these boards (or teams) in the name of inclusion and tolerance, but it’s often unclear what the school considers “bias” in the first place. Overly broad or vague definitions of bias put all kinds of speech at risk of being reported- even unpopular speech which is protected by the First Amendment. Political speech and satire are particularly vulnerable because the system favors students who easily take offense.

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