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Student Suspensions at Claremont McKenna College: New at Reason

Claremont McKenna College has taken a harsh approach, suspending five students for taking part in a blockade that prevented other students from attending a speech by Heather MacDonald, author of The War on Cops. The action could chill free speech on campus. It will also protect free speech on campus, Liz Wolfe writes.

The school is not rebuking all students who exercise their First Amendment rights—only those who choose to prevent others from assembling and speaking. And they’re not denying students the ability to appeal or subjecting them to an arbitrary process: sanctions are decided by a three-person panel, and students may have as little or as much participation in the investigation process as they want.

Claremont is right to make it abundantly clear that even disagreeable speech deserves to be heard and debated. And while student protests of this kind do not compare to outright government censorship of speech, it’s startling to see these millennials barricading doors so their views won’t be challenged.

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