Free Speech Guide
Pro-life speech is protected under the First Amendment and cannot be restricted on public campuses. Not on a public campus? We still may be able to help with free speech issues at private schools. Contact us about free speech issues regardless of what type of school you attend. Here is what you need to know about your free speech rights as a pro-life student...
What Your Public School Cannot Do
What Your Rights Are
Free Speech FAQs
What is public opinion on the First Amendment and free speech in America?
Many Americans think the First Amendment should be rewritten. The Campaign for Free Speech, a nonpartisan thinktank, released a 10-question survey with various inquiries about the First Amendment. First Liberty noted three surprising results:
- 51% of respondents reported that they thought the First Amendment was outdated and should be rewritten.
- 48% reported that they believed “hate speech” should be illegal.
- Of this 48%, 54% believed the penalty for “hate speech” should be jail time.
- 79% of respondents marked this sentence: “The constitution preserves the right to free speech. The First Amendment allows anyone to say their opinion no matter what, and they are protected by law from any consequences of saying those thoughts or opinions.” as TRUE – when in reality, it is false.
The First Amendment does not, by law, protect you from the social or cultural consequences of your speech – but it does protect you from governmental force or discrimination as well as violence from anyone due to your speech.
What does free speech include?
When the government targets speech in a way that discriminates against it on the basis of its message (excluding what the Court has held are “fighting words” or vernacular containing criminal threats), this is unconstitutional.
When can speech be restricted?
All restrictions to free speech must be content neutral. This means speech cannot be restricted based on the substance or message of your speech, but must apply to all forms of speech expression.
Are there Exceptions?
Yes - there are time, place, and manner restrictions to free speech. This means it's constitutional to implement reasonable noise-level restrictions and immediate safety precautions. This does not mean: controversial subjects, dramatic symbolic speech, nor so-called hate speech.