Stretch, grab a late afternoon cup of caffeine and get caught up on the most important news of the day with our Coffee Break newsletter. These are the stories that will fill you in on the world that's spinning outside of your office window - at the moment that you get a chance to take a breath.
Sign up now to save time and stay informed!

Study Finds 'Bias Response Teams' Have Difficulty Balancing Duties and Free Speech

Protesters bang on drums, hold signs

The phrase "bias response team" stirs images of Orwellian jackboots stomping through college campuses. Let's be honest -- it's accurate. These "teams" exist primarily to quash the free speech rights of students.

A new study finds the administrators of these teams simply can't balance their duties with that pesky old Constitution. From Campus Reform:

A new study reveals that bias response team administrators struggle to do their jobs while still respecting students’ First Amendment rights.

University of North Carolina-Charlotte professor Ryan Miller, et al conducted interviews with 21 bias response team administrators, finding that many of them suffer difficulty “balancing free speech and the creation of an inclusive campus.”

While Miller notes that many of the subjects expressed a desire to uphold the First Amendment rights of students, the “need to balance protecting free speech with creating an inclusive campus environment” presents them with “conflicting interests.”

“I think we always are trying to strike an equitable balance between acknowledging a student’s, or offending party’s, First Amendment right of free speech, free assembly,” asserted April, one of the administrators interviewed for the study.

Jennifer, a diversity administrator at another college, voiced similar statements.

“I definitely believe in freedom of speech, but also I want to make sure that we are a safe and supportive community,” she told Miller. “I think that we can do both of those things. Hopefully, people recognize that they’re not trying to be harmful or hurtful and want to be better in the future.”

Unfortunately, you simply can't support free speech while still believing that people's words need to be policed. That's simply not how things work. People are either free to say horrible things, or they're not free at all.

I know that sentiment isn't popular on college campuses. Those who oppose it would do well to remember that they can only spout their ridiculously hateful and incendiary opinions about the Right due to free speech protections as well. It works for everyone, not just those you agree with.

Bias response teams exist solely for the purpose of infringing on free speech. Administrators can claim they're true believers in free speech until they're blue in the face, but the organizations they support and lead exist to tell some students that they're not allowed to say certain things. If that's not contrary to the First Amendment, what is?