- Well, Christian andconservative college students
are increasingly reporting being silenced
on college campuses.
New stats reveal that's causing
a growing number to keep their religious
and political thoughts to themselves.
- Senior Washingtoncorrespondent Jennifer Wishon
reports on this growing trend.
- If you're a college studentand think you'll be seen
as a bigot, less intelligent, or punished
for sharing your beliefs or opinions,
it's not surprising more and more students
are self-censoring theirconstitutionally protected speech.
An annual survey by Yale'sWilliam F. Buckley Program
finds a majority feelintimidated sharing their ideas,
opinions, or beliefswhen they're different
from their professors.
Even more feel intimidated if those views
differ from classmates.
- I have talked to studentswho say, "You know what?
"We talk about politics in our dorm room
"with the door locked because we're scared
"of people telling on us."
- [Jennifer] Nicki Neily of Speech First
keeps track of thesefree speech restrictions
on college campuses.
- If you think that you'regonna get in trouble
because your views are considered bigoted,
hateful, defamatory, I mean, you know,
of course you're notgonna talk about them.
- [Jennifer] The survey alsofinds nearly 60% of students
want speakers who have a history
of using so-called hatespeech banned from campus.
And a third believe physical violence
is justified to stopsomeone from making hateful
or racially charged statements.
The problem is determiningwhat's offensive
can be different for everyone.
Students at some schoolscan even face punishment
for private conversations.
- There are portals on university websites
where you can go in, you can type down,
"I heard Joe say, usethis term in a classroom,
"walking down the hallway,I found it offensive,
"and I think it should be investigated."
And then that student iscalled in for a hearing.
- [Jennifer] So, whyis this happening now?
Neily suggests it's a new generation
of students created byhelicopter parenting,
bubble wrapping kids, andtrophies for everyone.
- If you have grown upthinking that you're right
and the first timeyou're told you're wrong
or you're being challenged on your views
is when you're 18, ofcourse there's gonna be
an existential crisis on campus.
- Some schools, like theUniversity of Chicago,
are taking a stand forthe First Amendment.
In this letter to the class od 2020,
the dean of students writes,
"our commitment to academic freedom
"means that we do not supportso-called trigger warnings,
"we do not cancel invited speakers
"because their topicsmight prove controversial
"and we do not condone the creation
"of intellectual safe spaces.
"Diversity of opinion andbackground," he continues,
"is a fundamental strengthof our community."
More than 50 colleges and universities
have made similar statements.
And Neily suggests students find out
where schools stand onspeech before deciding
where to attend.
Jennifer Wishon, CBN News, Washington.