When teaching Communication Ethics, my classes discuss a lot of examples of what is and is not a violation of the Amendment. We speak about what restriction on free speech a state university or college can make and what restrictions private college can make.
The University of Missouri, for example, has a “Speaker’s Circle,” a centrally located cement “stump” that is open for anyone to say anything about everything. Of course there are some restrictions for this and other true public venues.
If the speech creates and “clear and present danger;” if it consists of “fighting words” that may create immediate violence; or, if the language can be found in a court of law to be slander or libel. There are also limits concerning obscenity, or conflict with government interests.
My class talks about University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill, who made some very public comments concerning the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. Churchill was accused saying that the United States deserved to be attacked because how our government treats Muslims.