Secretary of Education and the Department of Education have issued a final ruling protecting campus free speech.
According to The Daily Wire:
On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos kept her promise to protect free speech on college campuses, issuing the Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities final rule.
The rule includes:
Under the Supreme Court’s First Amendment jurisprudence protecting the individual’s right to his own ideas and beliefs, “no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.” As a result, officials at public institutions may not abridge their students’ or employees’ expressions, ideas, or thoughts.
Academic freedom’s noble premise is that the vigilant protection of free speech unshackled from the demands and constraints of censorship will help generate new thoughts, ideas, knowledge, and even questions and doubts about previously undisputed ideas. Although academic freedom’s value derives itself from the fact that its “results . . . are to the general benefit in the long run,” academic freedom is also inherently important in a free society.
The rule addresses free speech at religious institutions: “Religiously affiliated institutions, in freely exercising their faith, may define their free speech policies as they choose in a manner consistent with their mission. The final regulations do not mandate that religiously affiliated institutions adopt any particular policies in order to participate in the Department’s grants and programs. In other words, the final regulations do not require any private institution to adopt a campus free speech policy that complies with the First Amendment, and the Department cannot force any religiously affiliated school to compromise the free exercise of its religion.”
Free speech and campus reform have been one of the main tenets of DeVos’s goals while in office.