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University of Wisconsin approve punishments up to expulsion for students who repeatedly disrupt speakers

University of Wisconsin approve punishments up to expulsion for students who repeatedly disrupt speakers

MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL – KAREN HERZOG

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents on Friday passed a policy pushed by Republican state lawmakers to punish students on UW campuses who repeatedly disrupt campus speakers with opposing views.

The policy to address the so-called heckler’s veto requires a student twice found responsible for disrupting freedom of expression to be suspended, and a student who disrupts three times to be expelled.

It defines offending students as those who engage in “violent or other disorderly misconduct that materially and substantially disrupts the free expression of others.”

The policy further mandates that “protests and demonstrations that interfere with the rights of others to engage in or listen to expressive activity shall not be permitted and shall be subject to sanction.”

Battles over free speech erupted last academic year at universities across the country, when students used disruptive tactics to interrupt conservative speakers on campuses to the point that they could not deliver speeches.

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