University of Texas Sued Over ‘Rude Speech’ Ban
The University of Texas is being sued by a non-profit for muzzling free speech on campus.
The lawsuit filed by Speech First, a nonprofit membership association, alleges the school of creating an “investigatory and disciplinary apparatus” to stifle speech that it considers “rude,” “biased,” or “uncivil.”
Filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, the suit further alleges school of using four of its policies that have a high probability of being used in an arbitrary manner.
“Speech First members enrolled at Texas have abstained from speaking on topics including immigration, identity politics, and abortion because they fear their speech will be anonymously reported as derogatory, hostile, and/or offensive to university authorities through the Campus Climate Response Team,” the association said in a release.
In its court filing, Speech First has further noted that the university’s bias response team since September 2017 has investigated more than 100 reports of “expressions of bias.”
“Without a doubt, the University of Texas has failed to appropriately safeguard students’ First Amendment rights,” said Speech First President Nicole Neily. “Students deserve to be able to express themselves and voice their opinions without fear of investigation or punishment – which is why these policies must be reformed.”
The latest lawsuit comes days after a similar lawsuit filed by a student against Los Angeles Community College District was settled after school agreed to enhance the student’s free speech rights at its nine colleges and decided to open main areas of Los Angeles Pierce College to student expression. The colleges also paid $225,000 in attorneys’ fees.