Students, professors take fight to universities to protect free speech

Legal fights are breaking out across the nation over university policies that curtail the free speech of students and academic freedom of professors.

The advocacy group Speech First last week filed a lawsuit against the University of Michigan challenging the constitutionality of the school’s Bias Response Teams and content-based restrictions on speech.

Nicole Neily, president of Speech First, said the University of Michigan’s attitude toward free speech is representative of the higher education landscape.

“Bias Response Teams are fundamentally un-American and have no place on college campuses,” Ms. Neily said Tuesday in a statement. “We have an epidemic on our hands in the higher education system — universities are establishing rules and protocols that create a dangerous environment in which free speech protections under the First Amendment no longer exist.”

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