Wrongly-Named “Free Speech Zones” Are History in Florida as Governor Scott Announces He’ll Sign SB 4 Into Law

By March 11, 2018Free Speech

Tallahassee, FL – Today, Generation Opportunity-Florida (GO-FL) applauded Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) for announcing that he’ll sign Senate Bill 4, known as the Florida Excellence in Higher Education Act of 2018. The bill includes a provision ending wrongly-named “free speech zones” which, in reality, restrict students from exercising their constitutionally-protected First Amendment rights on the state’s publicly funded college and university campuses.

GO-FL Coalitions Director Demetrius Minor issued the following statement:

“Today is a huge victory for current and future college students across the Sunshine State who will no longer be discouraged from fully expressing their ideas and beliefs. We thank Governor Scott, as well as Speaker Corcoran, Senate President Negron, Rep. Rommel, Sen. Baxley and others who fought hard to ensure that Orwellian “free speech zones” are a thing of the past in Florida.”

To speak with Generation Opportunity-Florida Coalitions Director Demetrius Minor about this issue, contact Geoff Holtzman at gholtzman@genopp.org.

Since late 2017, GO-FL has been pushing for House and Senate versions of the Campus Free Expression Act, legislation that would outlaw “free speech zones.”

Earlier this year, Generation Opportunity launched a mail campaign urging Floridians to thank Sen. Dennis Baxley and Rep. Bob Rommel for introducing House and Senate versions of the Campus Free Expression Act. Click on the hyperlinks to view the full-size images of the mail pieces for Rep. Rommel and Sen. Baxley.

Last week, Generation Opportunity launched a digital campaign urging Gov. Scott to sign SB 4 into law.


According to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), nearly one in six universities maintain free speech zones – a space designed to limit your ability to hold “rallies, demonstrations, distribute literature, circulate petitions and give speeches.” Permission is usually required to use these “speech zones,” and applications must be approved by the university days or even weeks in advance. GO-FL believes the entire college campus should be a free speech zone, not just one area.

A recent Brookings Institute Study found one in five college students surveyed said using violence against a speaker known for making offensive statements was acceptable.

To learn more about the Campus Free Expression Act, click here.

Read more:

Florida Politics: The only free speech zone in Florida ought to be Florida


Generation Opportunity is a national, nonpartisan movement for more freedom, better opportunities, and a brighter future for all young Americans.

Author Geoff Holtzman

Geoff Holtzman is Generation Opportunity's Director of Communications. You can follow him on Twitter @Geoff_Holtzman.

More posts by Geoff Holtzman