Florida Outlaws Free Speech Zones in Higher Ed Bill

Adam Sabes
Campus Reform
Mar. 12, 2018

Florida’s House of Representatives passed a massive higher education bill which eliminates so-called “free speech zones,” pending Governor Rick Scott’s signature.

The bill, which effectively eliminates so-called “free speech zones” on public college and university campuses in the state, incorporates many elements of the “Campus Free Expression Act,” which was sponsored by Republican State Senator Dennis Baxley.

"Students shouldn't have their free speech rights quarantined into misleadingly labeled free speech zones."

That bill was originally voted down by the Senate Judiciary Committee, but was then revived by the Post-Secondary Education Subcommittee, which voted to incorporate large portions of Baxley’s bill into Senate Bill 4, the “Florida Excellence in Higher Education Act of 2018.”

In addition to eliminating free speech zones from Florida public institutions of higher education, the bill also creates a “Cause of Action,” which would allow people to sue an institution of higher education if they feel their “expressive rights are violated.”

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