Free speech under threat in the classroom?Monday 26 September, 19.00 - 21.00 , The ACCENT London Study Center, 12 Bedford Square, Bloomsbury London WC1B 3JA UK satellite events
What should be the boundaries of free speech and intellectual enquiry in the sixth-form classroom? Should there even be a boundary? In her new book, I Find That Offensive, Claire Fox argues that there should be no limits to free speech and the exploration of ideas in education no matter how provocative. Drawing on examples from the USA and her own experiences of addressing sixth formers in England, she argues that too many of our pupils are too easily offended by ideas they don`t like, which is leading to the chilling of free speech in schools.
But are our students really as thin-skinned as Fox makes out, demanding bans and censorship of those who hurt their feelings? Besides, is it not a good thing that liberal-minded young people refuse to countenance ideas that may demean or traduce Islam, women, gays, transgender and people of colour?
In this satellite debate, Fox will put her case for absolute free speech and the right to be offensive in the classroom. Meanwhile, in the true spirit of free speech, the audience are invited to challenge her and tell her where she is right and wrong in this increasingly important debate for British schools.
£5.00 / £3.00 (concessions). Book via Eventbrite.
director, Academy of Ideas; panellist, BBC Radio 4's Moral Maze; author, I Find That Offensive
senior lecturer in geography education, University College London/Institute of Education
politics teacher and head of social science, Queen's School, Bushey; co-author, Who's Afraid Of The Easter Rising?