And an illustration of why this sort of start is so necessary.
The Florida House of Representatives is putting forth a law (readable here; remarkably, it’s only 12 pages long, vice another party’s Federal level laws) regarding individual liberty and due process on Florida’s taxpayer funded college/university campuses.
Some high points:
[S]tudents would be permitted to conduct “free-speech activities”, including “all forms of peaceful assembly, protests, and speeches; distributing literature; carrying signs; circulating petitions; faculty research, lectures, writings, and commentary, whether published or unpublished; and the recording and publication, including the Internet publication, of video or audio recorded in outdoor areas of campus.
The State Board of Education may not shield students, faculty, or staff at Florida College System institutions from free speech protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution[.]
The bill also protects professors’ intellectual property. While students can record the profs’ lectures, they are not permitted to publicly release the recordings with the profs’ permission. The recordings are solely for the students’
own personal educational use, in connection with a complaint to the public institution of higher education where the recording was made, or as evidence in, or in preparation for, a criminal or civil proceeding.
Of course, if the matter does go to court, the recorded lecture(s) would enter the public record, as they should.
The proposed bill also makes a strong move, contra the Obama DoEd and President Joe Biden’s (D) reconstruction of it, to protect students’ access to due process when faced with allegations.
Colleges and universities who discipline a student for violating the code of conduct must give written notice within 7 business days that includes allegations being investigated, the citation to the specific provision of the code of conduct at issue, the process being used to determine whether a violation has occurred, and the date, time and location of the disciplinary hearing.
At least five days prior to the disciplinary hearing, each student must also be provided with:
- A list of all known witnesses that will provide information against the student or student organization, all know information related to the allegation
- The right to a “presumption that no violation occurred”
- The right to an impartial hearing officer
- The right against self-incrimination and to remain silent
- The right to present relevant information and question witnesses
- The right to an advisor, advocate, or legal representative at the student or student organization’s own expense
- The right to appeal the final decision of hearing directly to the vice president of student affairs or any other senior administration designated by the code of conduct to hear the appeal and make a final decision
- The right to an accurate and complete record of every disciplinary proceeding relating to the charged violation of the code, including record of any appeal, to be made, preserved, and available for copying upon request by the charged student or student organization
- A provision setting a time limit for charging a student or student organization with a violation of the code of conduct, and a description of those circumstances in which that time limit may be extended or waived
And an illustration of why this sort of law is so badly needed, conveniently provided by a Progressive-Democrat, the State Senator Tina Polsky, who
questioned whether hate groups such as Nazis or the Ku Klux Klan would be able to enter a campus under the legislation.
“You just can’t practice in absolutes and say that every single person is welcome on campus, because they’re not,” Polsky told AP. “This is meant to be a safe place for students.”
Umm, no. Leave aside Polsky’s own absolutism even as she claims otherwise with her cynical distortion that the proposed law says every single person is welcome on campus. Every single person isn’t welcome, true enough. But that unwelcome is strictly limited to criminals. Nazis, KKK, any other solely nasty person saying nasty things, of course must be welcome, else we’ll have the likes of Polsky defining for us who will be welcome, what speech or political bias will be permitted.
Beyond that, No, a campus most assuredly is not intended to be a safe place for students. It’s intended to be a place where various, and variously conflicting, views of the political and social world are openly explored, discussed, and debated. That can be deucedly uncomfortable and challenging to cherished beliefs. Students, though, aren’t on campus to be wrapped in swaddling blankets.
The safe place for students? That only exists with the safety of liberty for all of us, with the safety of thinking and speaking aloud those thoughts freely by all of us.
Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake. But Progressive-Democrats like Polsky would deny us that safety because they know so much better. And that makes them especially dangerous to our liberty.