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Laws and Policies

Boise State Policy 1100 states the university’s intent to:

“assure that the University recognizes and supports the rights of free expression and speech, and remains a place for the broadest expression of views. The only limits on this expression are to avoid conflict with the normal uses of the campus, the rights of others, and the limitations of lawful conduct. The university has a significant interest in preserving its limited space and employee resources, and must accordingly balance this interest with its recognition and support of free expression and speech activities attendant to the university learning environment and the robust expression of ideas.”

Laws and Policies

U.S. Constitution

“Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech …”
— Amendment I

“No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.”
—Amendment XIV, Section 1, Making the First Amendment Applicable to State and Local Governments

Federal Law


20 USC 1011a Protection of Student Speech and Association Rights


1. It is the sense of Congress that no student attending an institution of higher education on a full- or part-time basis should, on the basis of participation in protected speech or protected association, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination or official sanction under any education program, activity, or division of the institution directly or indirectly receiving financial assistance under this chapter, whether or not such program, activity, or division is sponsored or officially sanctioned by the institution.

2. It is the sense of Congress that—

(A) the diversity of institutions and educational missions is one of the key strengths of American higher education;

(B) individual institutions of higher education have different missions and each institution should design its academic program in accordance with its educational goals;

(C) an institution of higher education should facilitate the free and open exchange of ideas;

(D) students should not be intimidated, harassed, discouraged from speaking out, or discriminated against;

(E) students should be treated equally and fairly; and

(F) nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to modify, change, or infringe upon any constitutionally protected religious liberty, freedom, expression, or association.

(b) CONSTRUCTION Nothing in this section shall be construed—

1. to discourage the imposition of an official sanction on a student that has willfully participated in the disruption or attempted disruption of a lecture, class, speech, presentation, or performance made or scheduled to be made under the auspices of the institution of higher education, provided that the imposition of such sanction is done objectively and fairly; or

2. to prevent an institution of higher education from taking appropriate and effective action to prevent violations of State liquor laws, to discourage binge drinking and other alcohol abuse, to protect students from sexual harassment including assault and date rape, to prevent hazing, or to regulate unsanitary or unsafe conditions in any student residence.

(c) DEFINITIONS For the purposes of this section:

1. OFFICIAL SANCTION The term “official sanction”—

(A) means expulsion, suspension, probation, censure, condemnation, reprimand, or any other disciplinary, coercive, or adverse action taken by an institution of higher education or administrative unit of the institution; and

(B) includes an oral or written warning made by an official of an institution of higher education acting in the official capacity of the official.

The term “protected association” means the joining, assembling, and residing with others that is protected under the first and 14th amendments to the Constitution, or would be protected if the institution of higher education involved were subject to those amendments.

The term “protected speech” means speech that is protected under the first and 14th amendments to the Constitution, or would be protected if the institution of higher education involved were subject to those amendments.

Idaho Constitution

“Every person may freely speak, write and publish on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.”
— Section 9


“The people shall have the right to assemble in a peaceable manner, to consult for their common good; to instruct their representatives, and to petition the legislature for the redress of grievances.”
— Section 10

Idaho Statutes

18-6404. UNLAWFUL ASSEMBLY DEFINED. Whenever two or more persons assemble together to do an unlawful act, and separate without doing or advancing toward it, or do a lawful act in a violent, boisterous or tumultuous manner, such assembly is an unlawful assembly.

18-6410. ASSEMBLY TO DISTURB PEACE — REFUSAL TO DISPERSE. If two or more persons assemble for the purpose of disturbing the public peace, or committing any unlawful act, and do not disperse on being desired or commanded so to do by a public officer, the persons so offending are severally guilty of a misdemeanor.

18-6409. DISTURBING THE PEACE. (1) Every person who maliciously and willfully disturbs the peace or quiet of any neighborhood, family or person, by loud or unusual noise, or by tumultuous or offensive conduct, or by threatening, traducing, quarreling, challenging to fight or fighting, or fires any gun or pistol, or uses any vulgar, profane or indecent language within the presence or hearing of children, in a loud and boisterous manner, is guilty of a misdemeanor. (2) Every person who maliciously and willfully disturbs the dignity or reverential nature of any funeral, memorial service, funeral procession, burial ceremony or viewing of a deceased person is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Idaho State Board of Education Policies

Section III.B. Academic Freedom and Responsibility

In adopting the following policy statement concerning academic freedom and responsibility, the State Board of Education and Board of Regents of the University of Idaho affirms its belief that academic freedom should not be abridged or abused.

Institutions of higher education are operated for the common good and not to further the interests of individual faculty members or the institution as a whole. Academic freedom is essential to protect the rights of the faculty member in teaching and the student in learning. Freedom in research and teaching is fundamental to the advancement of truth. Academic freedom carries with it responsibilities as well as rights.

  1. Teaching
    The faculty member is entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing the subject material but should not introduce matters not germane to the subject.
  2. Research
    The faculty member is entitled to freedom in research and the publication of the results. However, research for pecuniary return, when that research is a part of the faculty member’s assigned duties or when the research involves use of institutional facilities or resources not usually available to the general public may be undertaken only with prior written approval by the chief executive officer or his or her designee.
  3. Responsibilities
    Membership in the academic community imposes on administrators, faculty members, other institutional employees, and students an obligation to respect the dignity of others, to acknowledge the right of others to express differing opinions, and to foster and defend intellectual honesty, freedom of inquiry and instruction, and free expression on and off the campus of an institution.

Each faculty member of the institution is a citizen, a member of a learned profession, and a representative of the institution. When speaking or writing as a citizen, the faculty member should be free from institutional censorship or discipline. However, as a member of the academic community and a representative of the institution, the faculty member should at all times be accurate, exercise appropriate restraint, show respect for the opinions of others, and make every effort to indicate that he or she is not an official spokesperson for the institution. Furthermore, each faculty member must refrain from using institutional resources to further his or her interests or activities which are not a part of the assigned responsibilities to the institution.

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