President Trump signed an executive order, one that will withhold federal funding from schools. Not just any schools, but any public, or private college and universities that do not protect the first amendment on campuses.
White House Senior Offical stated, to qualify for federal research dollars, both colleges and universities have to verify and prove that they are complying with the First Amendment. Private colleges and universities would have to confirm that they comply with their policies.
Last month during a speech, Trump teased the executive order at the Conservative Political Action Conference. He was accompanied on stage by Hayden Williams; who’s a conservative activist and got punched at the University of California-Berkeley campus earlier this year.
“If they want our funding and we keep giving it to them by the billions, they must allow people like Hayden to speak.”
Trump said at the event, receiving a standing ovation by the crowd.
Schools across the globe have wrestled with how to keep and protect the first amendment on college and university grounds. Including those who may harbor hateful views such as white supremacist, or anti-Semitic. The balancing act encloses ensuring the safety of both on-campus speakers and students, ones who feel threatened by their outlook. Along with how to protect, and keep the campus and community safe from violent demonstrations associated with such speakers.
A planned speech had a violent protest break out at The University of California–Berkeley, by Yiannopoulos, led to the event’s cancellation. During the latest free speech wars, The University has been ground zero, which drew in conservative firebrands. All scheduled for speaking engagements, which all led to cancellation due to protest.
The Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, also spoke to state legislators and those responsible for setting fund levels for public universities. She said they must put campus officials on notice If they, their faculty or student body are not compliant and try to curb free speech. If they’re not compliant, then their funds will be withheld.
Another high-profile case, Richard Spencer’s, white nationalist, had a speech at the University of Florida and forced the school to shell out approximately $600,000 just for security fees. Also prompted Florida Gov. Rick Scott to declare a precautionary state of emergency.
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