Survey: Majority of College Students Afraid to Speak Freely Because They Might Be Offensive

Gettysburg_College_FlickrBy Joseph Jankowski

American universities have done a complete about-face away from the free speech havens they once were.

Recently brought to the forefront of American media has been the attack on free speech and lack of respect for the press on college campuses.

Most notably it was the incident at the University of Missouri last November where we saw the anti-first amendment attitude in full force.

During a protest on campus, students pushed and shoved reporters and cameramen to prevent them from covering the calls for resignation of University president Tim Wolfe over a supposed racial incident that happened on school grounds.

“No comment!” the protesters chanted as they locked arms, “No Media, Safe Space.”

In this video you can see freelance ESPN journalist Tim Tai desperately trying to explain to University of Missouri student protesters what the first amendment actually means.

A survey released this week has shed some light on the attitude college students have towards free speech and whether or not they believe universities need to step in and censor.

It also reveals that a chilling effect on free speech is taking place because of the politically correct, social justice warrior, in need of a safe space attitude we saw in Missouri.

The survey, sponsored by the Knight Foundation and Newseum Institute in partnership with Gallup, found that 69% of students said colleges should be able to limit the use of slurs and other language that is intentionally offensive to certain groups.

63% of students said colleges should be able to restrict the wearing of costumes that stereotype certain racial or ethnic groups.

Nearly half of those surveyed saw legitimate reasons to curtail the press when people at a protest believe press coverage will be unfair to them.

Perhaps the most frightening finding of all is that 54% of students surveyed said the climate on campus prevents people from saying what they believe because others might find it offensive.

3,072 students, ages 18 to 24, were surveyed from multiple four year colleges from February 29 to March 15.

This willingness of universities and their students to suppress what might be offensive was highlighted by Rachel Huebner, a Harvard University student, who told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly that “many students come to college wanting to be exposed to a diverse group of people, to a variety of viewpoints, but the opposite is occurring. Open discourse is stifled — there is a lack of freedom of expression from students, from administrators…”

The survey also showed that students draw a distinction between speech that is politically offensive and expressions that are slurs or promote racial stereotypes as 72 percent said colleges should not be allowed to censor offensive political views.

If American universities are going to continue to be factories which produce a politically correct, anti-first amendment citizenry, the prospect for a free society in the future looks grim.

Joseph Jankowski is a contributor for Planet Free His works have been published by recognizable alternative news sites like, and

Follow Planet Free Will on Twitter @

Image Credit: Gettysburg College/Flickr

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30 Comments on "Survey: Majority of College Students Afraid to Speak Freely Because They Might Be Offensive"

  1. Mindless drones–the products of the American education system.

    • I agree to a certain extent, but ultimately I think they’re the product of poor parenting. There’s too much hypocrisy, inconsistency, and downright laziness that goes on at home. Proper parenting is hard work! If we’re not prepared to give it our all then we need to keep our clothes on……that includes being married before we start making children, but if we make that mistake then we need to hold ourselves accountable even to our children.

      • Well, IF the state didn’t demand that we send our children to their indoctrination camps to be “educated” (or jump through a hundred hoops to not send them there), I’d say we could give equal blame to the parents. As it is, if the state demands to be the educator, then they probably ought to DO the educating.

  2. Time to end political correctness and the rule of the feminazis.

  3. Telmar Minaje | April 7, 2016 at 12:56 am | Reply

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  4. 1947goldenjet | April 7, 2016 at 7:00 am | Reply

    The lunacy currently taking place on campus dovetails very nicely with the article concerning the lack of right to videotape police put forth by a very errant Pennsylvania judge. I’m assuming that judge was an early victim of the current campus “hurt feelings” crisis.

  5. Well, if ANYONE is surprised by this, they have had their head in the sand.

  6. The kids are controlled via the public school top down education (idiocracy).
    Home schooling would be better.

  7. Common Sense | April 7, 2016 at 7:47 am | Reply

    “He who dares not offend cannot be honest.”
    ― Thomas Paine

    Evil is manipulating stupid to destroy their country.

  8. Those students haven’t a clue. If they actually had an open mind, or any mind of their own at all, they would know that anything swinging left also swings right with true wisdom. Its called the “pendulum effect.”

  9. Of course they do not want to hear anything that challenges their preconceived ideas. They want to feel safe inside their own self constructed womb. They want to deny to others what they claim for themselves. Their attitudes and actions are offensive to any intelligent, free thanking individual.

  10. Auuu …. the poor widdle babies that can’t handle the truth and need their mommy. Get out their pacifiers and maybe things will be better. Check their diaper, that could be why they are so cross. Maybe it’s nappy time. JC, and the World will be counting on these wussies for our future !?!? I know what has happened …. lots of pre K and K to 12 indoctrination on being sensitive and educated by the socialist far left. This Nation never had this problem until the radical federal progressives took over the educating process in the 1970s. It’s been down hill ever since. We are doomed unless we take back our education system, soon.

  11. William Wajert Sr | April 7, 2016 at 10:05 am | Reply

    bunch of whiney titty babies

  12. aahhh,our tax dollars at work!!!!!!!!

  13. Nina Ferguson | April 7, 2016 at 10:59 am | Reply

    Please do not allow these IDIOTS to stop you from your RIGHT of FREEDOM OF SPEECH!!!!! If these drones of political correctness are allowed to flourish and grow, our FREEDOMS are all in danger. It isn’t just the FREEDOM OF SPEECH that is in danger. The IDIOT in the White House is trying to pull down our RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS, commonly known as the SECOND AMENDMENT, and he needs to be stopped. WE THE PEOPLE covers all LEGAL American citizens, and protects the rights we have and have fought and some have died for. DO NOT ALLOW THEM TO BE DESTROYED!!!!!

  14. what in the world is hapening to the young generation , the are scered of there on shadow , that is si sad , you still have your first admendment so speak up and out,
    dont let OBAMA and his gang shut you up, and those teacher you have the are puthing there idialogy in your head , not what is going on now, stand strong and proud YOU ARE AN AMERICAN make up your one mind what is what, i will pay no attention to some left idiot , i tell him to drop dead, dont be afread to tell what you think, yes the lable you as a racesist , i dont give a rats hind end about it , it makes OBAMA FEEL O SO PROUD AND BIG WHEN HI PUTS THAT GARBAGE OUT , obama DISAPPEARE YOU RAT YOU THE BIGEST RACESITST THERE IS

  15. Olivia Branch | April 7, 2016 at 12:59 pm | Reply

    What most people don’t seem to understand is that as parents, we Americans are preparing our kids for this zombie way of thinking by propping them in front of the TV to get their PROGRAMMING for hours every day and night! These few companies that own the majority of the media you consume are directing your lives. They actually laugh about how they’ve corrupted the morals of this country through the sitcom alone! Wake up, people!

  16. GrandmaAmerica | April 7, 2016 at 1:26 pm | Reply

    Harvard really produced a lot of low life scumbags.

  17. Nancy Forrest | April 7, 2016 at 2:31 pm | Reply

    What is college tuition paying for, if not a thriving marketplace of ideas and an open and challenging learning environment and experience? Being “politically correct” was the highest possible compliment during the worst possible, tyrannical years of Communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc, where people had little or no freedom of expression. Why would we even want to emulate that kind of stifling of free speech and inquiry on American college campuses? That isn’t worth the price of college tuition.

  18. Our universities are not places of learning anymore. They are indoctrination centers run by progressive liberal, anti-Ameican screwballs.

  19. Stupid is as stupid does. Education is wasted on these fools, best send them off as cannon fodder in some far away country full of small brown people. Oh, wait…………………

  20. We send our children to college to become educated, rather than that however, they are becoming indoctrinated! Are they learning about the Constitution or is it indoctrination into socialism, communism, liberalism and/or any ism that attempts to enervate and deprecate America’s probity and endemic. Free speech is now reserved only for anti-America students – these visceral, foolish children are the iconoclastic future of America. These students represent what could be the epitasis in the theater of America’s lack of leadership and support of those whose apostasy to everything our ethos represents in the Constitution and Bill of Rights which these same students enjoy … but can easily, if allowed to continue, provide them with their unintended Pyrrhic of a 1984 society … welcome to unintended consequences.

  21. ridiculousness | April 8, 2016 at 5:37 pm | Reply

    So I put up a piece mocking how taking offensive at anything means you can’t even greet anyone anymore, and it gets moderated and taken down. Not just taken down, but wiped in under ten minutes. Apparently, making fun of people getting offended, is offensive.

    That’s pretty telling. Why bother allowing guest postings if you’re just going to delete them? Just eliminate the option, it’s a checkbox in your Disqus dashboard . . .

    • ridiculousness | April 8, 2016 at 6:56 pm | Reply

      This one showed up. Must have run afoul of some keyword filter.

      • ridiculousness | April 9, 2016 at 5:52 pm | Reply

        And now it’s here and I feel dumb, I didn’t even see it open for moderation so I figured it got erased. Any way to delete this string of guest posts mods? Feel free to wipe them. Complaint no longer valid.

  22. They are the product of Saul Alinsky teachings. Teach them to get into your face, if they bring a knife, you bring a gun, those are the things Obama told HIS democrats and followers to do if anyone tried to stop them. He probably sends them emails everyday with rules on what to do. He is an instigator a teacher of violence.

  23. Reporters…Hold your hands up and tell them if they stop you or push you, if they touch you, you will sue them for harassment or assault. Your taxes pay for those brats to go to those schools. Get some backbone.

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