But in order to really participate, we need to know our rights - otherwise we may lose them. The highest law in our land is the U.S. Constitution, which has some amendments, known as the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights guarantees that the government can never deprive people in the U.S. of certain fundamental rights including the right to freedom of religion and to free speech and the due process of law. Many federal and state laws give us additional rights, too.
The First Amendment guarantees our right to free expression and free association, which means that the government does not have the right to forbid us from saying what we like and writing what we like; we can form clubs and organizations, and take part in demonstrations and rallies.
Some states -- including Colorado, California, Iowa, Kansas and Massachusetts -- have \"High School Free Expression\" laws that give students more free speech rights than the Constitution requires. Check with your local ACLU to find out if your state has such a law.
If you believe that your school is censoring books because of their viewpoints, you, your teachers and the school librarian can challenge book censorship at your school or in court. The freedom to read is the freedom to think - and that's totally worth fighting for!
It is equally important not to stifle the dissemination of any ideas, even if other members of our community may find those ideas abhorrent. Individuals wishing to express ideas with which others may disagree must be free to do so, without fear of being bullied, threatened or silenced. This does not mean that such ideas should go unchallenged, as that is part of the learning process. And though we believe all members of our campus communities have a role to play in promoting civility and mutual respect in that type of discourse, we must not let concerns over civility or respect be used as a reason to silence expression. We should empower and enable one another to speak and listen, rather than interfere with or silence the open expression of ideas.
The internet and new technologies give individuals the ability to publish and receive information, participate in political processes, and share knowledge. CDT has fought to extend the highest level of free speech protections to the internet and to keep new technologies free of government censorship and content gatekeepers. Private online service providers need to be protected from legal liability for content posted by users so that they will be willing to host it. User choice and control, which allow individuals to decide what to say, publish and access online, are essential parts of protecting free expression rights.
The content throughout this website that originates with CDT can be freely copied and used as long as you make no substantive changes and clearly give us credit. More on CDT's content reuse policy is available here.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
The Office of Instructional Resources has partnered with other university offices to create freedom of expression curriculum packet available for use in any Blackboard course. The curriculum is entirely customizable and can be fit to different class needs.
It is inevitable that the views and ideas of our community will conflict. We are committed to maintaining an environment that is a marketplace of ideas to the benefit of all individuals, where freely exchanging ideas is not compromised because the ideas are to some offensive, unwise, disagreeable, too conservative, too liberal, too traditional, radical, or wrong-headed. It is for the individual members of our University community, not for the University as an institution, to make value judgments, and to act on those judgments not by seeking to suppress speech, but by openly and vigorously contesting the ideas that they oppose.
We recognize that we may falter at times, but make no mistake that we are committed to continuing, and forever looking for ways to improve, the support and preservation of a lively and fearless freedom of debate and deliberation while protecting that freedom when others attempt to restrict it.
These principles carry responsibilities. Academic freedom carries the responsibility for the faithful performance of professional duties and obligations. All members of the university community at each of the institutions in the University of Wisconsin System share in the responsibility for maintaining civility and a climate of mutual respect. Although members of the university community at each institution are free to criticize and contest the views expressed on campus, they may not obstruct or otherwise interfere with the freedom of others, including speakers who are invited to campus, to express views they reject or even loathe. Freedom of expression also carries the obligation to make clear that when speaking on matters of public interest or concern, one is speaking on behalf of oneself, not the institution.
Chapter UWS 17.09 describes misconduct that may subject a student to discipline, including but not limited to: disruption of university-authorized activities; dangerous conduct; unauthorized use of or damage to property; violation of criminal law; serious and repeated violations of municipal law; violation of university rules; and violation of Chapter UWS 18. Chapter UWS 17.10(1) contains a range of disciplinary sanctions for students under the jurisdiction of the institution who engage in violent or other disorderly conduct that materially and substantially disrupts the free expression of others.
Students and employees have the freedom to discuss any problem that presents itself, as the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article I of the Wisconsin Constitution permit. Students and employees shall be permitted to assemble and engage in spontaneous expressive activity as long as such activity does not materially and substantially disrupt the functioning of an institution.
Protests and demonstrations that materially and substantially disrupt the rights of others to engage in or listen to expressive activity shall not be permitted and shall be subject to sanction. This policy shall not prohibit administrators, faculty, or other instructors from maintaining order. Access to UW institutions for purposes of free speech and expression shall occur within the limits of reasonable viewpoint-neutral and content-neutral restrictions on time, place, and manner of expression and the provisions of Chapter UWS 21 (Use of University Facilities) of the Wisconsin Administrative Code.
Educational institutions play an essential role in sustaining democracy. They serve as crucibles of ideas, dialogue, and debate, committed to educating the rising generation as well as forwarding the pursuit of knowledge and truth. But amid rising polarization in the United States and around the world, educational institutions have become a site of conflict and challenge, particularly when it comes to the bedrock values of free speech and diversity, equity, and inclusion, and perceived tensions among them.
Free speech has become a flashpoint for controversy on campuses across the U.S. We believe that for a campus to be open to all ideas, it must be genuinely open to all people, including those from less traditional backgrounds and those from previously excluded groups. In our trainings for university faculty and staff, and in our advocacy for free speech and academic freedom, we encourage campuses to robustly defend free speech and open inquiry at the same time that they advance principles of diversity and inclusion and address lingering legacies of discrimination.
Bucknell University is committed to protecting the right to free expression on campus to further our mission to \"educate students for a lifetime of critical thinking and strong leadership characterized by continued exploration, creativity and imagination.\"
Diverse perspectives in the classroom and across campus enhance everyone's educational experience. We integrate a commitment to free expression and the principles of academic freedom throughout our policies and by specific actions that support lively and fearless debate. In particular, Bucknell:
Encourages students to engage freely with course content with assurance that students will be evaluated on the merits of their arguments and performance, and not on their opinions or conduct in matters irrelevant to the academic mission of the University or course content.
Respects each student's freedom to express reasoned opinions that differ from the opinions of faculty or the majority of other students without concern for arbitrary and capricious evaluation of their work.
Supports academic freedom, freedom of expression, and freedom of association for all members of the University community, subject to reasonable restrictions of time, place and manner to ensure orderly scheduling of facilities and adequate preparation for the event, and that the activity is conducted in a manner appropriate to an academic community.
Values a constituency composed of individuals with diversity of interests and opinions, bound together by respect for the individual and collective rights of others. All members of the University community are responsible for the maintenance of an environment in which people are free to learn and work without fear of discrimination or abuse.
The Board of Trustees has adopted the statement of the American Association of University Professors which recognizes that members of the faculty are citizens with the right to speak and write as citizens free from institutional censorship or discipline. When speaking as a private citizen faculty must still remember that the public may judge their profession and Bucknell by their statements and therefore