Lawmakers say ‘no’ to limiting free speech on Georgia college campuses


ATLANTA – The Georgia Senate gave final passage Monday to legislation aimed at eliminating “free speech zones” on the campuses of public colleges and universities by granting free-speech rights at all locations.

The Republican-controlled Senate passed House Bill 1 33-18 mostly along party lines. The House approved the bill, introduced on behalf of Gov. Brian Kemp, early last month.

The bill prohibits college officials from limiting what students may say as well as where they may say it, said Sen. Bruce Thompson, R-White, who carried the legislation in the Senate. He cited a series of lawsuits that have been brought against public universities in Georgia by student organizations whose events were relegated to out-of-the-way free-speech zones.