Jefferson City, MO – Ryan Johnson, President of the Missouri Alliance for Freedom, today posed a series of questions to the University of Missouri Police regarding their directive to students to report instances of hateful and/or hurtful speech.
“The MU Police Department’s directive to students to report hateful or hurtful speech to law enforcement officials is truly chilling,” Johnson said. “The point of the First Amendment is to protect speech of all kinds, whether you agree with it or not. This order and threat of disciplinary action flies in the face of our constitutionally protect rights and raises serious questions about who was involved in this decision and what actions they have taken to enforce it. For example: Who decides what speech is hateful or hurtful? How subjective will the process be? Will there be a speech commission set up to determine what is acceptable and what is not?”
The following are a list of question the Missouri Alliance for Freedom wants answered:
- Was the University of Missouri Police Department ordered to issue the speech directive and if so by whom?
- Who decides what is “hateful and hurtful” speech and what are the guidelines used to make that determination?
- What disciplinary action will be taken against students who exercise their rights of free speech that others report as hateful or hurtful?
- Will the description of the individual/student, their license plate number and vehicle description, as well as photograph be placed in database and how will the incident impact the future of the student’s education at the University of Missouri?
- Does this change the fundamental role of the University of Missouri Police Department from law enforcement to speech regulation?
- Is the University of Missouri concerned about the constitutional implications of this directive?
- What actions have the Department undertaken to date to enforce the directive?
If these questions are not answered quickly there needs to be an independent investigation by the Missouri Legislature into possible violations of the fundamental rights of University of Missouri students, faculty and staff.
The Missouri Alliance for Freedom is a conservative nonprofit public interest group that advocates for individual liberty and limited government.