PRESS RELEASE

Contact: Stephen Coleman

Telephone: 301-801-0608

Email: scoleman@saveservices.org

As Campus Unrest Spreads, Legislators Seek to Restore Free Speech and Due Process

WASHINGTON / June 5, 2017 – In the wake of widening campus protests that have sometimes turned violent, legislators in numerous states are taking steps to assure free speech and due process. These bills have generally enjoyed broad-based bipartisan support.

Thus far in 2017, governors in four states have signed into law bills that bar free speech zones or otherwise strengthen free speech on campus (link to the actual bill is embedded in the state’s name):

Similar free speech bills have been proposed in California, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Enhanced due process in campus sexual assault cases has been the focus of bills proposed in three states this year:

  • GeorgiaHB 51 seeks to have allegations of campus sexual assault referred to local criminal justice authorities for investigation and adjudication.
  • North CarolinaHR 777 seeks to guarantee accused students’ fundamental due process rights.
  • Utah —  HB 326 sought to enhance reporting to law enforcement, and HB 284 afforded accused students the right to active counsel.

To date, none of these bills has been signed into law.

In Washington, student protesters at Evergreen State College harassed and screamed at a White professor for not leaving campus on a “Day of Absence.” The school was closed this past Friday after a caller threatened to “execute as many people as I can.”

SAVE urges legislators to continue efforts to reinvigorate constitutional principles by strengthening free speech and due process on campus.

SAVE (Stop Abusive and Violent Environments) is working for practical and effective solutions to campus sexual assault: www.saveservices.org