- At freedom of speech is afoundation of our democracy
but today that foundation is under assault
on college campuses.
Many conservatives and Christians say
they're being silenced andit's forcing many students
to keep their religiousand political thoughts
Senior Washingtoncorrespondent Jennifer Wishon,
reports on this growing trend.
- If you're a college student,
and think you'll be seen as a bigot,
less intelligent, or punishedfor sharing your beliefs
or opinions, it's not surprisingmore and more students
are self censoring theirconstitutionally protected speech.
An annual survey by Yale'sWilliam F. Buckley program
finds a majority feel intimidated,
sharing their ideas, opinions or beliefs
when they're differentfrom their professors.
Even more feelingintimidated if those views
differ from classmates.
- I have talked to students who say,
you know what, we talk aboutpolitics 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,
of course you're notgonna talk about them.
- [Jennifer] The surveyalso finds nearly 60%
of students want speakerswho 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 in the hallway.
I found it offensive and Ithink it should be investigated.
And then that student iscalled in for a hearing.
- [Jennifer] So why is this happening now?
Neily suggests it's a newgeneration of students,
created by helicopter parenting,
bubble wrapping kids andtrophies for everyone.
- So if you have grown upthinking that you're right
and the first timeyou're told you're wrong,
or that you're beingchallenged 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 for the first amendment
in this letter to the class of 2020.
The Dean of Studentswrites, "our commitment to
"academic freedom meansthat we do not support
"so-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 whereschools stand on speech
before deciding to attend.
Jennifer Wishon, CBN News, Washington.