It is fair to say that many institutions of higher education pride themselves on critical thinking and individual thought and expression of their students within reason. Some universities, however, don't subscribe to this school of thought and look to instill specific belief systems and ideologies. Some schools, typically private schools, can dictate what their students can and can't do. This can include a student's right to free speech.
BYU Students Launch an Underground Newspaper
Brigham Young University (BYU) is widely known as a Mormon school owned and funded by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Under church direction, the school's newspaper has strict limitations on the topics and content of its articles. Newspaper writers are told to avoid discussing topics like drugs, sex, or scientific claims that don't comport with the church's teachings, such as evolution.
Because of this censorship, students at BYU have launched an underground newspaper called the Prodigal Press that operates wholly off-campus. In the Prodigal Press, students freely discuss topics they are forbidden from writing about in The Daily Universe, the school's sanctioned newspaper.
Students at BYU involved in this underground newspaper face the potential of Honor Code violations and even expulsion. It may seem like a severe penalty for discussing things commonly discussed in the mainstream press, but this is partially what students at schools like BYU signed up for when they chose to attend school there. Constitutional rights to free speech can be limited in many school situations, especially when the school is entirely privately funded.
What Are Your Rights?
When a school is publicly funded in any way, then many Constitutional rights are protected, such as the right to free speech. While not all forms of free speech are protected within university grounds, many more are when the university receives state money to operate.
If you are subjected to discipline for exercising your rights to free speech, then it is vital to understand what your school's policies are regarding speech and if those policies are Constitutional or not. If your school limits your right to free speech by punishing you for allegedly saying or writing something, it is important to understand your rights and responsibilities. Each school has different policies, and you must know what your school's policies are.
Why Hiring the Lento Law Firm is the Right Choice
If you face an honor code violation at your school, you likely realize the potential impact that a finding of responsibility can have on your academic career. When facing a challenge like this, it is essential to seek the advice of an experienced attorney. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has successfully represented countless students facing disciplinary actions and other challenges at their schools and universities. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to learn why hiring Attorney Lento and his team is the right choice to fight against honor code violations and free speech claims.