by Jackie Simmons

There was a recent national survey of 1,500 current undergraduate students at U.S. four-year colleges and universities regarding their views of the First Amendment. The survey’s author, John Villasenor concluded that “Freedom of expression is deeply imperiled on U.S. campuses.”

What’s going on?

What Villasenor believes this heralds for the near future of our country is worth a read, if you don’t scare easily.

Whatever happened to Free Speech and Personal Responsibility?

If I allow your words to provoke me to violence, if I am unable to hear what you have to say without being “emotionally harmed”, that’s on me. I thought emotional self-control was the hallmark of adulthood.

I thought Freedom of speech meant:

We each have the right to choose to be offended.
We each have the right to choose to walk away.
We each have the right to choose to remain silent. AND
We each have the right to choose to respond with words of our own.

This used to be called civil discourse and debate.

Another Freedom that seems to be getting short-shrift is Freedom from Harassment.

Freedom from Harassment still means that we do NOT have the right to physically harm, threaten, force, or restrict each other in any manner. Although, this also seems to be in question with certain groups.

What if we brought back these simple definitions and EVERY PARENT applied them at home? What if EVERY institution of higher-learning applied these simple definitions equally on all campuses?

What if we don’t?

We hold these Freedoms to be the foundation of our country and worthy of civil discourse.