The Tennessee General Assembly will consider a bill this week that would prevent school officials from disciplining students who exercise their free speech rights on taxpayer-funded college campuses. The bill would also ban so-called “bias-reporting systems.”
The bill, the Tennessee Student Free Speech Protection Act, would require the state’s public colleges and universities to adopt a broad set of policies protecting freedom of speech and free expression for all students.
The bill, HB 2063, would ban all school officials, faculty members and staffers from “punishing, disciplining, or censuring students for the content of students’ lawful speech,” reports The College Fix.
If passed, the bill would further prevent universities from “establishing a system for students or other persons to report incidents of mere bias, where no threats or harassment occurred.”
Free speech zones would be verboten as well. Instead, entire campuses would become free speech zones (with a few limitations such as, say, allowing schools to forbid the interruption of a scheduled speech).
The bill would additionally outlaw the obligatory use of any “trigger warnings” on Tennessee’s public university campuses.
School officials would be able to promote civility, but they would be required to allow “free, robust, and uninhibited debate and deliberations” to the maximum degree allowed under the law “no matter how offensive or disagreeable the ideas may be to members of the community.”
Knoxville Republican Rep. Martin Daniel, one of 9 sponsors of the bill (all Republicans) said he believes it is in the best interests of the state to encourage embolden students to speak their minds without fear of repercussions.
“The best kind of educational environment is one where there’s a lot of controversy and conversation about various issues, and we encourage students to speak up,” Daniel told The College Fix.
“We want our students to be prepared for the real world, and those classes of speech that might be considered ‘microaggressions’ just happen in the real world,” the state lawmaker added.
“We’re hearing from students that they’re not comfortable with speaking up,” he told the Fix. “The universities, they’re not taking action, they’re not confirming the First Amendment rights of students, so the legislature has to step in, in my opinion.”
Tennessee’s House Standing Committee on education, administration and planning was scheduled to hold a hearing on the law on Tuesday.
A version of HB 2063 has been introduced in Tennessee’s state Senate as well.
If it passes, the Tennessee Student Free Speech Protection Act would become effective on July 1, 2016 — just in time for the fall semester.
“Bias incident reporting systems,” politically-correct language and “trigger warnings” have been all the rage on America’s taxpayer-funded college campuses in recent years.
Last year, for example, the University of Colorado Boulder proudly launched an on-campus spying campaign that encourages students to report incidents of “bias” to government officials at the school. The extensive online “bias” reporting mechanism solicits nearly two dozen pieces of information about perpetrators of “bias” including their names, addresses, phone numbers and student ID numbers. The point of the “Bias Incident Reporting” scheme is to make the taxpayer-funded University of Colorado campus free of “demeaning and hurtful statements.”
To advertise the taxpayer-funded scheme, University of Colorado officials paid for posters featuring demeaning and hurtful statements that denigrate various cultures and ethnic groups. “Go back to Africa, you don’t belong here,” one school-funded poster reads. “Your mom must be the janitor ’cause that’s the only job for dirty Mexicans,” declares another. Except for the “Bias Motivated Incident” poster campaign, there appears to be no evidence that anyone on the CU Boulder campus has ever said these things. (RELATED: University Of Colorado Combats ‘Bias’ With Huge Student Surveillance Scheme)
Also in 2015, word came out that the University of New Hampshire had a “Bias-Free Language Guide” advising students not to use the word “American” because it is “problematic.” Other “problematic” terms in the ultra-politically-correct guide included “foreigners,” “mothering,” “fathering” and “homosexual.” Once news of the Orwellian guide spread nationally, the taxpayer-funded school’s president quickly made it disappear. (RELATED: Public University’s Bias-Free Language Guide Calls The Word American’ ‘PROBLEMATIC’)
In 2014, the student government at the University of California, Riverside passed a resolution demanding that the administration send campus-wide emails alerting students any time their hypersensitive feelings might be offended by an anti-abortion demonstration. (RELATED: UC Riverside Students Can’t Handle Abortion Foes, DEMAND TRIGGER WARNINGS)
In January 2013, an unidentified student at Dartmouth College allegedly walked past two students, made eye contact and spoke a bunch of gibberish that the students perceived as mock Chinese. Dartmouth’s “Bias Incident Response Team” then sprung into action. However, as far as The Daily Caller knows, that student remains a fugitive. (RELATED: Dartmouth Student Who Spoke ‘Mock Chinese’ Remains On The Lam)