Free Speech Zones

by fmhilton

In my last post, I lamented the fact that colleges don’t seem to be teaching much nowadays.

Not only that, but did you know that some of them are telling students that they have only a certain time and place to exercise their right to free speech on campus?

You didn’t? Don’t feel bad, because it’s news to me as well, but it is the case with a number of colleges in this country-they have designated ‘Free Speech Zones’ in which students are allowed to speak their minds freely for only a certain amount of time in a ‘special area’ set aside for this action.

According to Fire,

many college campuses restrict free speech solely to these areas, meaning that the rest of campus is not open for expression.

Then they showed details  with the names and policies of the colleges in question.

They also wrote about a college, Modesto Junior College in California, that forbade the passing out copies of the US Constitution on CONSTITUTION DAY.

Yes, you read that right.

The college in question, though, might have a problem. The student took a video of everything that happened during the confrontation, and now the college is possibly going to be in the middle of a 1st Amendment lawsuit.

MODESTO, Calif., September 19, 2013—In a stunning illustration of the attitude taken towards free speech by too many colleges across the United States, Modesto Junior College in California told a student that he could not pass out copies of the United States Constitution outside the student center on September 17, 2013—Constitution Day. Captured on video, college police and administrators demanded that Robert Van Tuinen stop passing out Constitution pamphlets and told him that he would only be allowed to pass them out in the college’s tiny free speech zone, and only after scheduling it several days or weeks ahead of time. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has written to Modesto, demanding that the college rescind this policy immediately.

Isn’t it nice how our own educational system inculcates love of liberty and the right to express yourself?

At least some of it.

Update: the offending college has backed down somewhat from their outrageous actions. Doesn’t make it better, but at least they learned a valuable lesson: don’t get the Internet mad at you when your stupid policies become public knowledge.

Especially if they’re unconstitutional.