MADISON – Representative Lisa Subeck (D-Madison) released the following statement regarding today’s upcoming vote on the Campus Gag Rule (Assembly Bill 299).
“Today, Assembly Republicans are poised to pass a shameful gag rule that will effectively muzzle free speech and dissent on our college campuses. Our colleges and universities should be a place to vigorously debate ideas and ultimately learn from one another. Instead, this campus gag rule creates an atmosphere of fear where free expression and dissent are discouraged.
With this campus gag rule, Assembly Republicans have launched a direct assault on the First Amendment under which students are subject to automatic suspension or expulsion for merely exercising their constitutional rights. Worse yet, the penalties for violating this arbitrary gag rule are more severe than the penalties for sexual assault on the University of Wisconsin campus.
Clearly, this gag rule is a solution in search of a problem, as the University already has rules in place – and the state has laws on the books – to stop violent protest or punish those who are disruptive. It is an unnecessary and politically motivated attempt by Republicans to tell our state’s young people how to think, speak, and act.
For now, free speech is alive and well on campuses across Wisconsin, but that could change if the Campus Gag Rule is signed into law. Republicans fail to recognize that we protect free speech by exercising it, not by restricting it.”