University Professors Under Fire for Private Speech

By Samantha Grant

Educators at universities across America have come under fire for social media posts they’ve made outside the classroom, intended for private audiences.

According to the Department of Academic Freedom, professors are supposed to have robust free speech rights.  However, recently a professor at Yale University and a professor at the University of Delaware were both asked to take temporary leaves of absence due to controversial posts they made online.

While issues of free speech on college campuses tend to revolve around campus visitors/speakers, there is a growing issue regarding whether a university should be able to discipline the off-campus speech of its professors.

David Snyder, a lawyer and executive director of the First Amendment Coalition, sees these actions as a red flag towards the First Amendment.

“If you have a faculty that is afraid to talk because they might lose their job, that is deeply troubling for the viability of education at that institution and viability of education broadly.”

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