Two New Hampshire Bills to Protect Student and Faculty Speech

As highlighted by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), New Hampshire state representatives Frank Edelblut (R) and Alan Turcotte (D) have recently introduced two bipartisan bills, HR 1561 and HR 1431, to protect free expression and academic freedom at the state’s public colleges and universities:

HR 1561 will be familiar to Torch readers as it is FIRE’s own Campus Free Expression Act (CAFE Act). The CAFE Act is intended to prohibit public colleges and universities from limiting speech and expressive activity to unconstitutionally restrictive and misleadingly labeled “free speech zones.” These “zones” are maintained by hundreds of public colleges and universities nationwide and restrict students’ First Amendment rights.

Freedom of speech and expressive activity are already protected at Plymouth State University (PSU). Our readers may recall that Business Law Basics co-author and PSU professor of business law and criminal justice Sam Brickley led the effort to obtain FIRE’s “green light” rating for PSU back in fall 2014. But it certainly would be a welcome development at the other campuses of the University System of New Hampshire—both the University of New Hampshire and Keene State College are “red light” schools.