Nearly 1 in every 4 U.S. college students believe their schools should be a place that protects them from "hate speech" and offensive views, a Gallup poll
In the survey conducted for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
, 78 percent of the 3,000 students surveyed think colleges ought to create an open learning environment that exposes them to all types of viewpoints — even if it means allowing speech offensive toward certain groups of people.
But it also found 22 percent think colleges should create positive learning environments for all students by prohibiting speech or the expression of views that are offensive to certain groups.
"College students' complex views of First Amendment freedoms and the recent actions of some students raise questions as to how committed students are to those rights," Gallup's Jeffrey Jones writes in an analysis of the findings.
He also writes the findings show that students, "much more so than U.S. adults more generally," believe their free speech rights are secure and "stronger today than in the past."
According to the survey, roughly two-thirds of the students surveyed said colleges should be allowed to establish policies restricting the use of slurs and other language intentionally offensive to certain groups — and wearing costumes that stereotype racial or ethnic groups.
Yet, 72 percent regard the expression of offensive political views as beyond what college officials should regulate, while 27 percent think colleges should be able to prohibit the expression of such views.
The survey's margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
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