FIRST MEMBERSHIP ASSOCIATION DESIGNED TO FIGHT FOR FREE SPEECH ON AMERICA’S COLLEGE CAMPUSES
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Speech First, a new membership association dedicated to protecting college students’ right to free speech, is officially launching today. Speech First is an organization comprised of students, parents, faculty, alumni, and concerned citizens from across the country dedicated to protecting the free-speech rights of students on campus.
According to a 2016 study from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and the Knight Foundation, more than half of all college students have stopped themselves from sharing an idea or opinion in class, and almost a third have self-censored in class because they thought their words might be considered offensive to their peers. In recent years, colleges have adopted various policies – including “speech codes,” “safe spaces,” and “free speech zones” – with the goal of shutting down unwanted speech.
According to Speech First’s President Nicole Neily:
“The message is clear. Students with unconventional ideas should shut up and keep their opinions to themselves. This is wrong. Censoring speech infringes the rights of students to express their opinions on campus. Just as important, it harms the rights of other students to listen to the speech – to challenge, debate, and learn from the views of their fellow students. “When students’ speech rights on campus are violated, it’s tough to fight back. A lone student doesn’t stand a chance against a school with a huge endowment and an army of lawyers. It’s a real David versus Goliath situation. That’s why Speech First was created.”
Join the movement today by visiting www.speechfirst.org.
The mission of Speech First is to support students who seek to protect their rights to free speech, expression, or association. By joining together, the Speech First community is an assurance to students that they will not fight these battles alone—they will find support every step of the way: on campus, in the courts, and in the media.
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