The idea of limiting free speech has been something debated on many university campuses, despite the fact of the right to free speech being in the Bill of Rights. The reason the Founding Fathers addressed this in the Bill of Rights was to endorse the fact that everyone needs to analyze and express his thoughts and feelings in his own unique way. Limiting free speech in University Campuses would not only create an obstacle in the way of personal growth, but it would present incorrect or incomplete views of education.
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When someone prohibits or limits the freedom of speech on a university campus, it can hinder opportunities for personal growth in responsibility (American Association 172). People at this age are being exposed to reality and are figuring out their identities. Prohibiting the right to speak opinions and thoughts stunts growth in a person by causing him to miss key moments that could have developed his character in a tremendously positive way. In order for someone to truly succeed in life, he must grow in wisdom and responsibility, and free speech is essentially what aids a person in attaining these attributes. Everyone has a level of responsibility with what comes out of his mouth, and there will be no way to learn necessary traits if freedom of speech is restricted.
Limits on free speech in university campuses can cause obstacles in the area of education. College students are at a vulnerable learning stage in their lives, and they are taking what they hear in their classes and believing the content of the lectures. If there is a limit on speech, different sides of the lectures could be removed, though it is vital for the listeners to hear both sides of an argument to completely understand different concepts. This would cause many young people to believe narrow views of history, science, or literature. Skewed perspectives, especially when learning history, affect choices that these students make, inevitably changing their lives for the worse. The point of history is to learn from past mistakes, and inaccurate views would cause many to make foolish choices. Freedom of speech in this area is vital for University campuses, because proper and whole education is a necessity to college students.
The problem society has with the concept of free speech is the inappropriate and hateful way it is often used. The disgusting misuse of free speech harms many youths in America today. People have resorted in creating a “safe-space” for those who have been traumatized by these comments (Shulevitz 178). This idea has proved to be quite harmful to the intellectual mentality of college students. This mentality created by these safe-spaces caused “both professors and students loath to say anything that might hurt someone’s feelings,” even if it might be the truth (Shulevitz 179). Also, the idea of a safe-space is unrealistic compared to the real world. If these students are bubble-wrapped during this learning stage in their lives, they will be utterly unprepared for life. The correct way of going about this sensitive issue without limiting the free speech in an erratic way is to set good rules for physical behavior first, “rather than speech” (American Association 173). Restrictions on unruly actions, such as physical harassment, theft, underage drinking, and illegal use of drugs, would be a great start rather than limiting free speech.
The right to free speech should not be limited in University Campuses for the sake of students’ personal and intellectual growth. Young adults at this age need opportunities to grow and accurate content in classes. Limiting free speech would cause lethargy and lack of sound intelligence on a University campus, which would sow chaos and disorder throughout. Keeping speech free and open, as the Founding Fathers conveyed, would cause improvements in responsibility and maturity in the college youth today.
American Association of University Professors. “On Freedom of Expression and Campus Speech
Codes.” Practical Argument: A Text and Anthology, edited by Laurie Kirszner and Stephen Mandell, Bedford/St. Martins, 2017, pp. 172-174.
Shulevitz, Judith. “In College and Hiding From Scary Ideas.” Practical Argument: A Text and
Anthology, edited by Laurie Kirszner and Stephen Mandell, Bedford/St. Martins, 2017, pp. 178-182.