Free speech advocates scored a victory Monday when a federal judge ordered Georgia Tech to abide by an agreement to change its speech code for students living in on-campus housing.
The agreement is the result of a lawsuit filed by Tech students Ruth Malhotra and Orit Sklar with help from the Alliance Defense Fund that accused Tech’s speech code of discriminating against conservative students who dare speak out against feminism, homosexuality and a host of other issues.
As a result of the agreement the university amended the speech code by taking out wording that prohibits students from any attempt to “injure, harm” or “malign” a person because of “race, religious belief, color, sexual/affectational orientation, national origin, disability, age or gender.” If they want to change the code in the next five years they will have to gain approval from the judge.
While conservatives cheered this ruling the Atlanta-Journal Constitution titled their story as “Insults allowed at Tech” and went on to say that if you live in a dorm and want to malign another student or want to verbally assault them or make derogatory signs that is now OK.
Using this line of thinking you would expect that there will be an endless barrage of epithets or other derogatory remarks. In reality this is highly unlikely. All the student plaintiffs wanted is to allow everyone, especially conservatives an opportunity to speak their mind without fearing punishment should someone disagree with their opinion or accuse them of discrimination or worse.
One speech code down, many more to go.