Schools mend their repressive ways

Wednesday, July 8, 2015
 | 
Bob Kellogg (OneNewsNow.com)

Two schools in different states – each with the same problem: speech codes and policies that prohibit student free speech – have seen the error of their ways.

Students at Dixie State University in Utah filed a suit after they were told their flyers depicting two former U.S. presidents along with an image of Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara "disparaged" the former chief executives. Catherine Sevcenko of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) says the students contacted them for help.

Sevcenko

"I cannot imagine anything that is greater core political speech than mocking a U.S. president," she tells OneNewsNow. "So that was clearly stopping them from exercising their First Amendment rights."

FIRE's litigation coordinator says Nicolas Tomas, a student at California State Polytechnic University-Pomona, was confronted by campus police while distributing flyers outside of the school-designated free-speech zone.

"He was approached by the police who told him that he couldn't do that and referred him to the administrator," adds the FIRE spokeswoman.

Sevcenko says when both schools were facing lawsuits, they quickly suspended numerous policies that substantially restricted free-speech rights on campus.

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