President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Thursday to require colleges and universities to "support free speech" on campus or risk loss of federal research funds.
The president invited a handful of students on stage to share their stories of having their free speech restricted on campus. One young woman said her school did not allow her to hand out Valentine's Day cards with Christian messages on them. Another said she was told to place trigger warnings around campus in order to share her pro-life message.
Trump said the students in the room have stood up to political "indoctrination."
"You refuse to be silenced by powerful institutions and closed-minded critics," the president said.
He also said that his next education policy priority would be relief for student loan debt.
"To every student and young person here today and watching, don't let anyone stop you from doing what you know is right, from asking questions, from challenging the powerful, or from speaking your mind, that's the primary reason we're here right now," Trump said. "Never, ever quit. Never give in, and never back down. Keep standing up for your values, for your classmates, and for your country."