Monday, September 02, 2013

Christian Free Speech Censored at Ohio College

When administrators at Columbus State Community College saw the pro-life flyer that student Spencer Anderson planned to distribute, they confined him to a tiny no-traffic "free speech zone" on campus.  In Anderson's lawsuit claiming that the college's action is unconstitutional, he cites the discriminatory (greater) freedom given to non-Christian student organizations.
“Colleges should be the marketplace of ideas. Free speech should not be censored or limited to a ridiculously small area on campus, nor should students need permission to hand out fliers. The First Amendment protects freedom of speech for all students in the outdoor areas of campus, regardless of their religious or political beliefs.”
-- David Hacker, Senior Legal Counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF)
For background, read 'Higher Education' Indoctrinates Pro-abortion: Poll and also read Buffalo NY Univ. Charges Pro-life Students Extra Fees as well as University Says Student's Cross Necklace Offends Freshmen

In addition, read Obama Administration Muzzles College Students' Moral Speech

UPDATE 3/16/13: Ohio College Nixed Christian Speech, Now Pays Damages

-- From "College Student Suing for Freedom of Speech" by Andrew Evans, Washington Free Beacon 8/29/13

“Through the permitting process, the college retains unfettered discretion to determine whether students may speak at all,” the complaint says. “These college policies and practices chill protected student speech and disable the ability of students to speak on campus about recent and unfolding events.”

Anderson wanted to hand out his flyers in more heavily trafficked areas of campus, such as the dormitories, but the school would not let him.

The school maintains the “solicitation policy” because “when a student hands out a flyer on campus, the college no longer considers him a student but considers him an ‘activist,’” a school administrator told Anderson, according to the complaint.

Anderson’s lawsuit was filed in the same court that struck down a similar free speech zone at the University of Cincinnati . . .

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Ohio College Sued for Subjecting Pro-Life Students to 'Free Speech Zones'" by Alliance Defending Freedom (plaintiff counsel in Anderson v. Harrison filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio) 8/27/13

In June, Spencer Anderson, a Christian student at Columbus State Community College was required by college officials to get a permit 48 hours in advance to distribute fliers about his new pro-life student group. Officials assigned him to one of the two speech zones and forbade him from exiting the zone to speak with people or hand out his fliers. According to the complaint, the speech zones comprise less than 1 percent of the college’s 80 acre campus. In April, Anderson was involved in another pro-life display on campus subjected to similar restrictions.

College officials have approved other groups, such as students associated with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, to distribute fliers and speak to students outside the speech zones.

The lawsuit explains that the college’s speech policy prohibits students from speaking spontaneously in reaction to news and current events on the public sidewalks and open spaces of the campus. According to the complaint, the policy violates the First Amendment and grants “college officials unbridled discretion to discriminate against speech based on its content or viewpoint.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Columbus State Community College's Solicitation Policy Challenged in Court" by Susan Kruth, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education 8/29/13

CSCC’s solicitation policy governs the “dissemination or posting of any verbal, written, or pictorial material such as flyers, notices, requests to pledge or join any organization ….” Though it appears in the Faculty Handbook, Anderson’s complaint alleges that “[i]t is the College’s policy and practice to apply the solicitation policy to individual students ….” Under a subheading titled “Assembly,” the policy describes the college’s two “designated areas for public speech and assembly” and states: “All organizations and individuals must request to use this space for public speech and solicitation and must do so in writing at least one business day in advance.”

As a public college, CSCC is bound by the First Amendment. Anderson’s attorney, Matthew J. Burkhart, reviews the factors that determine whether a prior restraint on speech—like CSCC’s notice-and-permission requirement—is constitutional:
Under the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause, a prior restraint on citizens’ expression is presumptively unconstitutional, unless it (1) does not delegate overly broad licensing discretion to a government official, (2) contains only content and viewpoint neutral reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions, (3) is narrowly tailored to serve a significant governmental interest, and (4) leaves open ample alternative means for communication.
To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read ObamaNation: Rating Colleges Based on Immorality as well as Porn Novel for Freshmen Orientation in South Carolina