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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

FIRE Files Lawsuit in Nationwide 'Million Voices' Litigation Campaign

Student told he could not hand out copies of the U.S. Constitution outside his college’s tiny free speech zone which comprises just .003% of campus.

ARRA News Service: Yesterday, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) launched its Million Voices Campaign, which aims to free the voices of 1 million students by striking down unconstitutional speech codes across the country.

Los Angeles Pierce College student Kevin Shaw filed the first lawsuit (Shaw v. Burke) as part of the campaign against his school and the Los Angeles Community College District for policies that restrict student free speech rights to tiny “free speech zones.” Pierce College is one of nine schools in the LACCD, which serves over 150,000 students and is the largest community college district in the United States.

“Students like Kevin go to college to learn and grow in conversation with their peers, but a free speech quarantine like Pierce’s threatens to punish students who speak their minds in the wrong place,” said FIRE Director of Litigation Marieke Tuthill Beck-Coon. “The law is clear: Public colleges like Pierce can’t force students into tiny slices of campus to exercise their First Amendment rights.”

In November 2016, Shaw attempted to distribute Spanish-language copies of the U.S. Constitution and recruit new members for his student group, Young Americans for Liberty, along the main public walkway through the heart of Pierce College. As he prepared to distribute copies of the Constitution, he was approached by a Pierce administrator who told him that he could not distribute literature outside the campus free speech zone, a tiny area on campus measuring approximately 616 square feet and comprising about .003 percent of the total area of Pierce College’s 426-acre campus. For perspective, if Pierce College were the size of a tennis court, the area where students are allowed to exercise their constitutional rights would be smaller than a standard iPhone.
Warning for Student & Faculty Snowflakes!
Kevin Shaw is holding & was giving away
copies of the U.S. Constitution to fellow
student & but he's not in the

"Free Speech Zone!!!"
If you want to know more about the U.S.
Constitution don't ask your faculty or school
administrators. If at Los Angeles Pierce

College  ask Kevin Shaw.  Others get
a FREE copy via Hillsdale College.
- Dr. Bill Smith, ARRA News Service

Shaw was also told he must fill out a permit application to use the free speech zone and was informed that he would be asked to leave campus if he refused to comply.

“When I attempted to hand out copies of the Constitution that day, my only intention was to get students thinking about our founding principles and to inspire discussion of liberty and free speech,” said Shaw. “I had no idea I would be called upon to defend those very ideals against Pierce’s unconstitutional campus policies. This fight is about a student’s right to engage in free thinking and debate while attending college in America.”

was filed in partnership with Arthur Willner, a partner at Leader & Berkon LLP, who is co-counsel with FIRE in the case. In addition to challenging Pierce College’s unconstitutional free speech zone and permit requirement, the lawsuit also challenges a LACCD policy that requires the president of each LACCD college to designate at least one free speech zone on their campus.

“At the very moment when colleges and universities should be encouraging open debate and the active exchange of ideas, Pierce College instead sends the message to its students that free speech is suspect and should be ever more tightly controlled,” said Willner. “This does a disservice to the student body, as well as being contrary to long-established law.”
--------------
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to defending liberty, freedom of speech, due process, academic freedom, legal equality, and freedom of conscience on America’s college campuses. If you are a student who has been censored on campus, FIRE and its Legal Network partners stand ready to protect your First Amendment rights in court. Students needing advice or interested in submitting their case to FIRE’can apply on FIRE’s website.

Tags: FIRE, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, lawsuit, Los Angeles Pierce College, student, Kevin Shaw, U.S. Constitution, free speech To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 9:35 AM - Post Link

2 Comments:

Anonymous Bill Widner said...

The last time I checked, I could stand on any sidewalk and pass out copies of the Constitution.

3/29/2017  
Blogger Bill Smith said...

Just goes to show what College campuses have become and especially what we can expect from Los Angeles Community College District. Hope you looked at the entire article - I posedt a pix of the young man passing out Constitutions.

3/29/2017  

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