December 2017 – A survey conducted among 1,500 undergraduate students at four-year colleges found that an alarming number of students are misguided regarding free speech provisions of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.
Forty-four percent of students said “hate speech” is not protected by the First Amendment, and 16% said they do not know if it is protected. It is. Fifty-one percent said it is permissible to shout down a speaker known for “offensive and hurtful” statements. Sixty-two percent believe that a campus event hosting a speaker known for “offensive” statements is legally required to have a speaker who presents the opposing view.
The survey, conducted August 17-31, included responses of students who are U.S. citizens from 49 states and Washington, D.C. It was funded by the John Koch Foundation through University of California-Los Angeles (additional data above).
world.wng.org, 9/26/17; brookings.edu, 9/18/17