Speaking Rights and Responsibilities

Read Chapter 3 in
your textbook carefully. Then access the following links and review the Credo for Ethical
Public Speaking (Links to an external site.)and Newseum’s Educational Material on
Understanding the First Amendment (Links to an external site.). Then consider the
following questions in context with what is currently occurring in our national discussions
about free speech and public speech. There is no “right” answer to the questions, but I
do expect you to compose a minimum 500-word response that provides examples and
relies on textbook readings and other sites on ethics to provide examples in support of
your position (this assignment was excerpted from Stephen Lucas’s “Ethics and Public
Speaking” in The Art of Public Speaking, 11th edition page 45). The assignment is worth
15 points. Answer the following questions in essay format (you should not list the
question and your answer; instead, compose a brief essay that answers the questions).
Please double-space entries and reference the textbook, and the Credo and Document
on Free Speech in your response.

1.The issue of insulting and abusive speech—especially slurs directed against people on the basis of race,
religion, gender, or sexual orientation—is extremely controversial. Do you believe society should punish such
speech with criminal penalties?

  1. To what degree are colleges and universities justified in trying to discipline students who engage in such
  2. Should colleges provide students with “safe spaces” or should students learn how to cope and respond
    when they are confronted with speech they find offensive?
  3. Do you feel it is proper to place any boundaries on free expression in order to prohibit insulting and abusive
    speech? Why or why not?

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