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Advocacy Group Says Campus Speech Codes Are Getting Less Restrictive

Free-speech policies at colleges are becoming less restrictive, according to an annual report by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

The watchdog group, which pursues cases in defense of free speech on campuses, surveyed college policies and found that 27 of the 449 earned a “green light,” meaning that a policy didn’t infringe on free speech. In last year’s survey, 22 institutions were given green-light ratings.

The report said almost 40 percent of the colleges surveyed had overly restrictive policies, or “red light” ratings, which is a decrease of 10 percentage points from last year’s report. It’s the ninth consecutive year that the number of institutions receiving red-light ratings has declined.

In its report, FIRE noted other threats to free speech, from an increase in bias-response teams and free-speech zones.

“We must keep up that work to avoid losing ground amid the current of hostility toward free speech that is very much alive on campus and elsewhere,” the report said.

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