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‘Students Can’t Even Express An Opinion’: Major University Sued Over Speech Policies
The Daily Caller ^ | January 11, 2023 | Alexa Schwerha

Posted on 01/11/2023 10:40:13 AM PST by Twotone

Oklahoma State University (OSU) violated students’ First and Fourteenth amendment rights by enforcing policies which police speech concerning political and social issues, according to a lawsuit filed by legal group Speech First on Tuesday.

OSU enforces policies which “deter, suppress, and punish speech about political and social issues of the day,” according to the lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. It specifically challenges three issues Speech First alleges violates student speech rights: the harassment policy, the computer use policy and the Bias Incident Response system.

“This lawsuit not only holds OSU accountable for its unconstitutional policies, but it puts other universities on notice that students are no longer willing to tolerate being steamrolled by universities who use these intimidating investigatory measures to silence and suppress their speech and their thoughts,” Cherise Trump, Speech First executive director, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “We filed because our student members at OSU are desperate for a campus environment that allows them to debate their peers without fear of retaliation from an administration bent on shutting down meaningful discourse.”

Speech First alleges that OSU’s harassment policy, which defines harassment as “verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion, bullying” or conduct that could harm a student’s mental health, is vague and “can easily be applied to a wide swath of protected speech.” It also alleges that the computer use policy, which prohibits political campaigning, violates students’ rights by preventing them from “using their student email accounts for protected political speech.”

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Oklahoma
KEYWORDS: censorship; deib; esg; oklahoma; speech; suppression; universities; woke

1 posted on 01/11/2023 10:40:13 AM PST by Twotone
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To: Twotone

The left has been using law-fare to its advantage for decades, it’s long past time the right does the same thing.

2 posted on 01/11/2023 10:46:16 AM PST by rllngrk33 (It seems the soap box and ballot box have failed, it might be time for the bullet box.)
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To: Twotone

Doe OSU not know they’re in Oklahoma?

3 posted on 01/11/2023 10:50:14 AM PST by Migraine
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To: Twotone

Pistol Pete wouldn’t put up with that crap.

4 posted on 01/11/2023 11:04:14 AM PST by william clark (A man who is unwilling to be proven wrong has little regard for truth.)
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To: Migraine

OSU will just do what OU did in this situation. They’ll trot out the football team who will criticize the proposal and all the “conservative” legislators will fall all over themselves begging for forgiveness. See also, Missouri.

5 posted on 01/11/2023 11:05:39 AM PST by wrcase
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To: rllngrk33

As a STATE university, it is a government entity and can be held accountable for abusing students’ civil rights.

6 posted on 01/11/2023 11:06:50 AM PST by PapaBear3625 (We live in a time where intelligent people are being silenced so stupid people won’t be offended)
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To: Twotone

Two words: Hillsdale College

7 posted on 01/11/2023 11:19:38 AM PST by MeganC (There is nothing feminine about feminism. )
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To: Migraine

>>Doe OSU not know they’re in Oklahoma?<<

These days most colleges live in their own universes far from their physical locations.

8 posted on 01/11/2023 11:23:02 AM PST by freedumb2003 (Difference between a cow and the US Capitol 1/6 "riot:" you can only milk a cow 3 times a day)
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To: freedumb2003

That they do. When the Free Speech Zones controversy was at its height somebody asked one professor if being on campus meant surrendering constitutional rights, to which he replied huffily “We obey a higher law here.”

9 posted on 01/11/2023 11:27:42 AM PST by Billthedrill
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To: wrcase
I sort of agree re. the OU football team but it wasn't the administration trooping the football team out. The admin was cheering them on though.

It was a well regarded but 2nd team player that was very high on the wokeness scale that brought the team out. Excellent student. Left the team the next year as a graduate transfer to Stanford to finish a masters degree in something, probably working on a Stanford PhD by now.

I get alumni newsletters from OU throughout the year. Arts & Science and Engineering Colleges plus Microbiology and Chemical Engineering departments. Wokeness is rampant at OU.

I'm extremely ticked off at the engineering college. A year or two ago, the University was tooting its horn on research grants from the feds. Big $$$, area of research, principal investigators, yada yada. DEI department type profs were included on every damn engineering principle team. Thanks a lot feds.

10 posted on 01/11/2023 11:45:45 AM PST by Hootowl99
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To: Twotone; All
"‘Students Can’t Even Express An Opinion’: Major University Sued Over Speech Policies"
FR: Never Accept the Premise of Your Opponent’s Argument

To begin with, since the early states decided that the individual states did not have to respect the rights that they expressly protected with the Bill of Rights (BoR), the states obligating only the feds to respect such rights, our so-called "absolute" rights of free speech and religious expression were never intended to be absolute imo.

In fact, introducing language from the 10th Amendment (10A) to clarify the original scope of our 1st Amendment protections for example, Thomas Jefferson had explained that the states originally had the power to reasonably limit those protections.

But it can also be argued that since the Civil War showed that some states could not be trusted to respect certain rights that the states ultimately decided to give Congress the power to police constitutionally enumerated protections, evidenced by Section 1 of the 14th Amendment (14A).

In fact, Justice Reed had indicated that it is the job of judges to balance 10A state powers with 14A personal protections (my wording).

"Conflicts in the exercise of rights arise and the conflicting forces seek adjustments in the courts, as do these parties, claiming on the one side the freedom of religion, speech and the press, guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment, and on the other the right to employ the sovereign power explicitly reserved to the State by the Tenth Amendment to ensure orderly living without which constitutional guarantees of civil liberties would be a mockery." —Justice Reed, Jones v. City of Opelika, 1942.

Noting that the article doesn't give details about the Oklahoma University rights case, just because students are suing the university in the name of enumerated (absolute?) rights infringement, doesn't necessarily mean that the university cannot constitutionally justify the infringement.

On the other hand, my opinion of OSU's harassment policy is that it reads like a catch-all "when children are present" on a school zone speed limit sign which tilts the scales of justice in a school's favor imo, including possibly "woke" school administrators in OSU's case.

11 posted on 01/11/2023 12:14:19 PM PST by Amendment10
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To: Taxman


12 posted on 01/11/2023 12:23:18 PM PST by Taxman (SAVE AMERICA! VOTE REPUBLICAN IN 2023 AND 2024!)
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To: Twotone

The constitution always seems to end at the government’s doorstep. (no guns in post office, or SSA office, . . .)

13 posted on 01/11/2023 12:45:37 PM PST by aimhigh (THIS is His commandment . . . . 1 John 3:23)
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To: Twotone

A university education is supposed to prepare a student for life. This is where the country as a whole is headed so you could say that Oklahoma State is merely doing its duty.

14 posted on 01/11/2023 1:17:56 PM PST by Verginius Rufus
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