Community College of Baltimore County: Policies Require Use of Preferred Pronouns, Prevent Employees from Speaking to the Press


Community College of Baltimore County

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Case Overview

FIRE learned of two policies at the Community College of Baltimore County implicating academic freedom and freedom of speech, with one requiring faculty and students to use all community members’ preferred names and pronouns and another requiring employees to refer even their personal requests to speak to the press to the College Communications Department. In September 2023, FIRE wrote CCBC about both policies, first informing it that the preferred names and pronouns requirement constitutes compelled speech potentially carrying an ideological message with which members of the community may disagree. Secondly, restricting employees from speaking to the press on their own behalf on matters of public concern violates their expressive rights as citizens. FIRE urged CCBC to do away with both requirements in order to meet its obligations under the First Amendment.