UH settles in anti-discrimination policy case
The University has agreed to adopt a new anti-discrimination policy and distribute $30,000 to Speech First, after the organization claimed their previous policy was in violation of students’ First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
Eliminating the policy discussed in the case, the new anti-discrimination policy in place more clearly states the severity of the actions that must occur in order for students to suffer consequences. Fewer examples of harassment are shown in the new policy, which states “as long as the conduct rises to the level where it is actionable.”
Actionable harassment, as it applies to students, is defined in section 3.5 of the new policy as “Subjecting a student on the basis of their membership in a Protected Class to severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive treatment that denies the student equal access to education.”
Filed in February, the complaint cites three anonymous students and their belief that the policy in place makes them “reluctant to openly express their opinions.” Back in May, a judge ruled against the University’s former anti-discrimination policy, stating following the First Amendment “is not guidance – it is the law.”