I have posted previously concerning The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (F.I.R.E.), an organization I have been following for some years now, as they are among the few entities out there who are putting up a viable fight to see that the 1st Amendment rights of the students of our nation's institutions of higher learning are upheld.
Their successes have been many, yet even so, many university and college administrators/professors still seem to believe they can trample all over the rights of their student expressing themselves in the form of "speech codes," intimidation, threats, and other PC nonsense - and can do so with no personal financial risk to themselves.
Thanks to the efforts of F.I.R.E., that may be about to change:
PHILADELPHIA, December 22, 2010—Today, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) warned the presidents and top lawyers at nearly 300 public colleges and universities across the nation that they and their staff should be ready to pay out of their own pockets if they continue to violate their students' free speech rights.
"For too long, public college administrators have been intentionally violating the free speech rights of their students, secure in the knowledge that they won't personally lose a dime should a court rule against them," said FIRE Senior Vice President Robert Shibley. "This has given administrators the opportunity to censor whatever opinions they dislike and make all of us pay for it. But thanks in large part to FIRE, the excuse that makes this possible—that they 'didn't know' that students had free speech rights—is quickly vanishing."
FIRE is putting them on notice by sending a certified mailing this week to the presidents and general counsel of 296 of the biggest and most prestigious public colleges across the nation, highlighting significant legal developments from the past year. FIRE's mailing warns these top administrators that with the state of the law on campus speech codes clearer now than ever before, they and their employees violate the speech rights of students at their own financial peril, as they can no longer count on "qualified immunity" to shield them from liability.
Administrators should also be aware of a recent federal case in Georgia coordinated by FIRE, in which a federal district court determined that former Valdosta State University president Ronald Zaccari was not shielded from personal liability for violating the clearly established rights of student Hayden Barnes. (Zaccari is currently appealing that decision.) This is a major finding against a former university president, and if upheld, it will serve as important federal precedent for holding future administrative malefactors personally responsible for their abuses of student rights.
You can read the rest at this link.
It's about bloody time.
Funny how libs are always so generous when it comes to spending other people's money, but when it comes to their own, the weld their wallets shut tighter than Fort Knox.
Maybe now that the possibility of being held personally liable for defecating all over the rights of their students will cause at least a few of them to pause and consider the consequences of their blatantly illegal actions before implementing them.
I'll be keeping an eye on this latest development.
Who knows? Perhaps freedom of expression will survive in the last places you would ever consider it threatened.