Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Monday, July 20, 2015

Colleges Censure Conservative Speech

A college student is suing Blinn College in Brenham, Texas because her constitutional rights were violated when she was shooed off the quad for displaying a pro-Second Amendment sign. Simply for having signs that read things like “Defend Gun Rights On Campus,” Nicole Sanders was told by a college official and three armed campus police officers that she had to leave. She was told to move from her place near the student center to a so-called “free-speech area” roughly the size of a parking space where very few students would actually see or hear her. In response, Sanders hired a lawyer and is threatening to sue the school for viewpoint discrimination.

Blinn College is not alone in its blatant disregard of the Constitution. Many colleges permit free speech only in so-called "free speech zones." These zones almost always cover less than one percent of the campus and are not big enough for more than a few people to stand in. Some colleges even require a permit to be filed days beforehand for students even to use the “free speech zone.” Because many of these policies are so vague, they could be used to censure students’ use of the Bible or other religious documents. College should provide an environment for students to grow intellectually. Speech codes destroy that environment and defeat the purpose of having universities. Universities should not be censoring the conservative talk of their students.

This case in Texas is just another sad example of colleges silencing conservative students in direct violation of their constitutional right to free speech. Nicole Sanders’ lawyer put it best when she said “Blinn College thinks it’s acceptable to have a free speech zone that is the size of a parking spot, but the Constitution’s free speech zone is the size of the United States.” Those words should ring true for all college students that want to speak their mind.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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