Recently, Generation Opportunity-Florida’s Demetrius Minor joined the Brian Mudd Show on WIOD-Miami to discuss the importance of preserving and protecting freedom of expression on college campuses.
Currently, Florida state legislators are debating legislation that would put an end to so-called “free speech zones” on Florida’s publicly-funded college and university campuses.
These deceptively-titled zones actually restrict students from exercising their constitutionally-protected First Amendment rights by restricting free expression to sanctioned and pre-determined zones. These spaces are often tucked away on hidden corners of the campus.
Demetrius spoke about the importance of students remaining intellectually open to new ideas and being prepared to challenge new or foreign concepts “on the battlefield of ideas.” In his own words:
We all should be in an environment where we should be able to exchange ideas, beliefs, to compare and contrast different ideologies, and encourage debate, especially on a college campus. After all, parents send their sons and daughters to college for them to establish themselves. And how do you establish yourself? By exchanging ideas, thoughts, beliefs, whatever the case may be. That’s how you are going to prepare yourself for adulthood, for a career post-college. If you are able to understand and to listen to people, who agree or disagree with your mindset.
According to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, nearly one in six universities maintain free speech zones. Permission is usually required to use these “speech zones,” and applications must be approved by the university days or even weeks in advance.
We believe that the entire country, not just a specified zone, should be a place where the free speech is tolerated, if you agree, let Florida’s lawmakers know by emailing them today and encouraging them to protect free speech on campus.