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News Brief: college students, free speech and Oklahoma rape, inmates and schools

Headlines from April 4-8:

  • 7 in 10 college students support restricting ‘intentionally offensive’ speech (Washington Times)

A Gallup survey showed that 72 percent of college students said they opposed campus restrictions on “expressing political views that are upsetting or offensive to certain groups.” But asked whether “slurs” and other “intentionally offensive” language should be banned, they said they were all for it. Sixty-nine percent of college students surveyed said they would be in favor of prohibiting “intentionally offensive” speech on campus, and 63 percent said they would support administrative measures to ban “costumes that stereotype certain racial or ethnic groups.” Gallup surveyed 3,072 college students from Feb. 29 to March 15 and had an error margin of 3 percentage points.

  • Most sexual assaults on Oklahoma campuses involve acquaintances (NewsOK)

According to national statistics, nine of 10 people who report sexual assault are familiar with the perpetrator. Sexual assaults at Oklahoma universities almost always occur in on-campus student housing, according to data submitted to the U.S. Department of Education. Of 23 rapes reported at the state’s four-year public institutions in 2014 – the most recent data available – 22 were incidents at student housing facilities. Furthermore, statistics show that one in four to one in five women and one in 12 to one in 16 men will experience an unwanted sexual encounter before they graduate from a four-year institution.

  • Senate panel OKs bill to curb Oklahoma inmate population (KFOR)

The explosive growth in Oklahoma’s prison population – one of the highest in the nation – could be slowed under a series of bills endorsed by a key Senate committee to ease penalties for minor drug crimes and give more discretion to judges and prosecutors. State prisons are packed at more than 120 percent of capacity, and the Department of Corrections is trying to find space for an estimated 1,000 new prisoners that have entered the system in the last year. The bills passed Wednesday would ease penalties for simple drug possession and many nonviolent property crimes.

  • OKC schools to cut 92 administrators to save $5 million (NewsOK)

Superintendent Rob Neu said 92 administrative positions – in addition to the 208 teacher reductions the district announced last month – will be eliminated for the school year beginning July 1 to save $5.1 million. The cuts are a result of the statewide $1.3 billion shortfall for fiscal year 2016-17. Oklahoma City Public Schools, the state’s largest school district with 46,000 students, expects to make $30 million in budget cuts over the next two years. District officials are considering additional budget reductions of $17 million for programs, services and operations.

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