The Peralta Community College district in California
has recently been the subject of intense scrutiny since announcing its plans to establish "free speech" zones around their campuses. According to the Mercury News
, school district officials are currently working on a policy to limit where and how groups can speak on campus.
These proposed free speech zones have rankled students and faculty alike and caused many to question whether First Amendment free speech is in jeopardy in venues where the public exchange of ideas have always been welcomed. However, Peralta is not the only college environment where free speech platforms have been limited. This idea has actually been in existence for a decade, and every college campus that has instituted free speech zones has come under fire for their plans.
Free Speech on College Campuses
Since the 1960s, college students have led many protests against social issues and stood up for policies and legislation they have believed to be a violation of their rights. Protests during that time primarily revolved around the Vietnam War, but grumblings against the "Establishment" and other social policies were also the topics of debate.
During the final two decades of the previous centuries, protests on college campuses cooled significantly. However, concerns over race and sex have emboldened students once again, according to a report from the First Amendment Center
. As college officials have become concerned over potential uprisings that may result from such demonstrations, limits on when and where students can exercise their First Amendment rights
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