Do North Carolina Students Have Freedom of Speech?

Free Speech ReportA complete copy of Do North Carolina Students Have Freedom of Speech? is available for download as an Adobe Acrobat file compatible with Adobe Reader.

America’s colleges and universities are supposed to be strongholds of classically liberal ideals, including the protection of individual rights and openness to debate and inquiry. Too often, this is not the case. Across the country, universities deny students and faculty their fundamental rights to freedom of speech and expression.

The report examines the speech, assembly and religious protections for students and faculty at North Carolina’s universities–both public and private. Using the speech code rating system from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), the Pope Center found that none of North Carolina’s universities received a “green light.”

A green light would indicate that there are no serious threats to students’ free speech rights in the policies on a particular campus. A “red light” indicates the school has at least one policy that clearly restricts freedom of speech. A “yellow light” is given when a school has some policies that could ban or excessively regulate constitutionally protected speech.

Do North Carolina Students Have Freedom of Speech? reflects the Pope Center’s ongoing interest in encouraging diversity of thought in North Carolina’s colleges and universities.

Hard copies are available from the Pope Center at no charge. Send an email to: to request a copy.