A conservative free speech group reports that more than half of private and public American universities have implemented “bias reporting systems” that censor unpopular student political opinions.
Speech First, a nonprofit association of U.S. college students and alumni, said Monday in a report that 454 of 821 institutions of higher education have implemented teams or procedures that solicit, receive and investigate loosely defined “bias incidents.”
That total included 250 public institutions such as Auburn University and 204 private institutions such as Yale University. More than half of the systems are set up in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion offices.
Cherise Trump, the group’s executive director, said in a statement that the bias reporting systems “suppress, shut down, or unjustly punish” the constitutionally protected freedom of conservative students to express opinions on hot-button political issues ranging from abortion to transgender rights.
Speech First, which files lawsuits against the policies on behalf of conservative students, has won four federal lawsuits overturning the so-called speech codes at the University of Michigan, the University of Illinois, the University of Texas and — last week —the University of Central Florida.
But Monday’s annual report found a 230% increase in the number of bias-reporting systems at private schools and a 175% increase at public schools over the past five years.
SEE ALSO: Biden taps career diplomat for Ukraine ambassador post