My definition of “free speech” is a little different.

A post at Instapundit by Robert Shibley of FIRE suggesting that FIRE supports the right of students to demand unlawful action as much as it supports the rights of others to their lawful free speech really irked me this morning, and I had to comment generally on why I don’t support organizations like FIRE.  It was too good to just leave there, so:

Look. I was a student once; I was even in the student government at my university. I was also a full-time university staff member for three years, which gave me an entirely different perspective.

What I learned was that students who pull these sort of stunts are stupid little sh*ts with unformed, malleable brains that have been filled full of progressive mush by their teachers — mostly in high school and before, but also in a lot of cases by freshman lecturers as well. Their opinions on matters like faculty tenure are not credible and should always be ignored. If they subsequently act out by occupying the college president’s office or creating other disruptions to the educational process, they should be suspended, and in extreme cases, expelled.

Contrariwise, the students who act like adults and who are really there for an education — which in my experience comprise the vast majority — should not be made to suffer because some of their classmates choose to act like spoiled little children.

Statements like the one in the OP are why I don’t support organizations like FIRE. Freedom of speech is one thing, but there is no point in allowing trouble to fester to the point where you have to “defend faculty or students whose college targets them as a result”. Colleges shouldn’t be targeting anyone for any reason — they should be exercising and enforcing discipline and removing those who would disrupt the educational process for those who are truly there to learn. That in the main they will not do so, and that there is a need for an organization like FIRE to exist at all, simply points up the fact that the existing educational establishment is broken beyond repair, and must eventually be destroyed root and branch. (And they’re doing a great job of accomplishing that all on their own.)

I am one of the lucky few who graduated years ago with a liberal arts degree and nevertheless was able to find a lasting career in a completely different field. Today, when asked, I advise young people of my acquaintance to consider vocational school or an apprenticeship. The universities are intellectually bankrupt and the people who pay to attend them end up financially bankrupt. Get trained and do something useful with your life instead of sitting in an ivory tower for four years and coming out with few job prospects and a tower of loans you can’t pay off.