Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Colleges Want “Safe Places” From First Amendment

Another new and trendy phrase among college students is that they need “safe spaces” where their feelings can’t be hurt. The safe place at Brown University, for example, was equipped with cookies, coloring books, Play-doh, calming music, pillows, a video of frolicking puppies, and even staff trained to deal with trauma. “Safe places” are designed to shield students from being “bombarded” with upsetting opinions. For example, if a class discusses the “rape culture,” the college is supposed to provide a “safe space” for students who find some comments “troubling” or even (the new buzz word) “triggering.”

At Reed College in Portland, Oregon, freshman Jeremiah True was banned from participating in class discussion after he challenged the concept of “rape culture” and questioned the widely used statistic that one in five college women is sexually assaulted. The 19-year-old student was accused of “placing too much emphasis on men being unfairly charged with rape,” which was “deeply upsetting” to other students and “re-traumatized and triggered survivors.”

Funny thing, I haven’t heard of any safe places reserved for those who are offended by anti-American, anti-Christian, or even anti-religion talk. Where is the safe place reserved for the University of California, Irvine students who were upset when dozens of leftist professors signed a letter supporting banning the American flag on campus? The professors’ letter stated that “nationalism, including U.S. nationalism, often contributes to racism and xenophobia” and referred to the American flag as “paraphernalia of nationalism … used to intimidate.” Rather than banning the flag, maybe the university should have designated a “safe place” for any students who feel “intimidated” by the mere sight of the American flag.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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