Phi Beta Cons

That Was a Joke? See How Funny You Think Suspension Is!

One of the many disheartening features of American higher education is how humorless it has become. At least, it isn’t permissible to poke fun at certain things — things that the PC commissars say Must Be Taken Seriously. Just as students in the Soviet Union couldn’t make fun of their leaders or communist doctrine, so too with American students and the many subjects that they must not laugh at.

The most recent case involves a student at Colorado College. He has been suspended for 21 months, ordered not to set foot on campus, and even told that he may not take college courses for credit elsewhere during his punishment. What did he do?

He joked about a “black lives matter” post on Yik Yak. Read all about it in this FIRE release.

Because Colorado College is private, the First Amendment doesn’t apply, but the school has made a public commitment to freedom of expression. I suppose that officials will declare that freedom of expression does not include joking on social media.

I don’t know how legal action would turn out, but the school’s trustees and alums ought to demand the termination of the officious administrator who thinks that a student should be drawn and quartered over something as trivial as a Yik Yak retort.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.


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