One of the sad facts of life in modern America is that conservative speakers venture onto college campuses at their peril. The extreme case of what can happen took place at the University of California at Berkeley when Milo Yiannopoulos who was chased off campus by a mob of black-clad rioters who broke windows and set fires. Usually, student protestors will just scream and yell until the speaker gives up and leaves the stage or campus police to show up to escort the disrupters away. Now the #Wisconsin State Legislature is proposing to do something about these disruptions.

What does the Campus Free Speech Act do?

The bill that is now being debated in the Wisconsin State Legislature would suspend or expel students who repeatedly interrupt or disrupt a campus speaker with whom they disagree.

Advertisements
Advertisements

Such students will receive a disciplinary hearing. For a first offense, they can be suspended for one semester. A third offense earns the offending student an expulsion.

The bill also mandates that the University of Wisconsin system provide education for the student body on the concept of #free speech and how it should be respected. The UW system will be mandated to remain neutral on such controversies.

The Wisconsin State Assembly has passed the bill along party lines with no #democrats voting for it. The bill is now being debated in the State Senate. Governor Scott Walker has expressed support for the legislation, indicating that he will sign it if and when it reaches his desk.

Why are Democrats objecting to the bill?

Incredibly Democrats are objecting to the bill because they claim that it suppresses free speech, presumably of the disruptive students and the rioters.

Advertisements

One Democratic member of the Wisconsin State Legislature even called it a “campus gag rule.” The Democrats seem to be supporting the heckler’s veto in which anyone loud and disruptive enough can suppress the free speech of anyone they don’t like.

Throwing open the safe spaces

The problem is that a considerable amount of the millennial generation has been raised to be intolerant of opinions with which they disagree. The attitude has poisoned the free exchange of ideas on many college campuses. The concept of so-called “safe spaces” has arisen that allow students to protect themselves from ideas and situation that make them feel uncomfortable. Some students have even labeled rhetoric with which they disagree as “hate speech” that needs to be suppressed.

The legislation should have the effect of eliminating the “safe space” mentality. Free speech means that everyone should be given the opportunity to express themselves, even those who express uncomfortable ideas.