Wednesday, January 28, 2009

College Will Allow Free Speech Two Hours Each Week

Yuba College settles lawsuit by yielding to student threatened with arrest and expulsion for handing out Gospel tracts

-- From "Student gets last word in speech suit" by Ryan McCarthy, Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, CA) 1/28/09

The college district agreed to pay $25,000 in attorneys fees and change its "free speech" policies.

"Christian students shouldn't have to face jail and expulsion for expressing their beliefs on a public college campus," attorney Heather Hacker with the Alliance Defense Fund Center for Academic Freedom said in a written statement.

The lawsuit had helped put Yuba College first on a conservative group's list of politically correct campus abuse nationwide — in front of the gay English classes at Deerfield High School in Illinois and transgendered activists at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota cited by the Young America's Foundation of Virginia.

The foundation said Yuba College officials were "oblivious to the fact that students don't need permission to exercise the First Amendment's free speech and religious clauses."

Hacker, who represented Loma Rica res dent Ryan Dozier, 20, and filed the suit in federal court in Sacramento against the Yuba Community College District, said in a telephone interview Tuesday that a $1 payment to Dozier is part of the settlement.

Hacker said new college district polices will end a requirement that students obtain a permit to exercise free speech during a two-hour period each week, Hacker said.

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