The Importance Of Speech Codes In Schools

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Entering adulthood it is important to learn how to express one’s views effectively. The First Amendment protects our right to express our beliefs, however, our right to speak should not inhibit others right to their own voices. Lucia Valdivia, a professor at Reed College, believes the key is to be open to others opinions, not necessarily having to respect them or agree with them.

At colleges such as Emory University, hate speech codes are being enacted to outline prohibited behavior. Banned behavior includes conduct directed at any person or, group of people because of their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, or veteran 's status and that has the purpose of creating an offensive, demeaning, intimidating, or hostile environment (Uelmen). FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) defines “speech codes” as a university 's policy
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Speech codes on campuses have been used since the 1980s (Welch). They started speech codes on campuses due to an increase of student protesters and controversial content. Some people argue that the speech codes encourage positivity and protect against hate crimes, But according to the article by Welch, “Any argument may hold a kernel of truth but even without that, our beliefs can still be strengthened.” Speech codes discourage students from having open conversations about important issues. Even when problems are uncomfortable for some students, talking about them is still necessary in order to better understand the problem and find solutions. According to one faculty handbook on disruptive student policy, it is against school rules to be disruptive in class. The handbook says that a disruption is defined by the professor, meaning that this rule could encompass a large variety of punishable behaviors. In this way, many schools enact speech codes that not only restrict students freedoms, but do so in a way that allows faculty members to pick and choose which free speech is
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