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Universities are taking divergent approaches to handling campus speech, safe spaces, and trigger warnings

(09/07/16 1:41pm)

On one campus, the administration has said in no uncertain terms that students expecting “trigger warnings” shouldn’t hold their breath. On another, a center for inclusivity is pushing a set of language recommendations called “Just Words,”... 

Campus preacher prevails in 1st Amendment challenge to Tenn. college's permit rules

(04/28/12 5:02pm)

A public university can't make a speaker wait 14 days for a permit to give a talk or distribute literature on campus sidewalks, or give notice of the topics he intends to address, a federal appeals court ruled this week. John McGlone, an evangelical Christian preacher from Kentucky, brought suit against Tennessee Technical University after being told to leave campus property during two April 2009 visits because he had not complied with TTU's speaking permit rules. A federal district court threw out McGlone's case.

Free speech zone at University of Cincinnati struck down – permanently

(08/22/12 7:41pm)

A federal judge permanently struck down free speech policies at the University of Cincinnati on Wednesday, upholding a previous ruling that found the policy unconstitutional and vague. Judge Timothy Black issued a preliminary injunction in June in the lawsuit brought by the school's Young Americans for Liberty chapter after group members tried to circulate a petition across campus and were confined to a "Free Speech Area" consisting of about 10,000 square feet. Black's decision Wednesday makes that ruling permanent, ending policies that required students to give between five to 15 days prior notice of protests and demonstrations, in addition to confining them to the free speech area.

Court cites Hazelwood to defend school's removal of religious reference

(02/13/13 7:17pm)

As co-president of the Taconic Hills Middle School student council, an eighth grade student had a warm message to share with her classmates at the school’s annual “Moving Up” ceremony in June 2009. “As we say our goodbyes and leave middle school behind, I say to you, may the LORD bless you and keep you; make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace." But a decision issued last month from the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York defended the New York school district’s right to remove that very closing line from the unnamed student’s speech.

"Harlem Shake" parodies in Alabama, Pennsylvania land students in trouble

(02/20/13 7:47pm)

On Monday, students at the University of Alabama who tried to film a Harlem Shake video on the school's quad learned they couldn't gather without a permit from the university, according to reports in The Crimson White, Alabama's student newspaper. The school requires all groups to apply for a grounds use permit for events, speeches, rallies or protests on campus, and it can take up to 10 days for the school to approve permits. The large crowd that gathered was told by campus police to disperse, and the student who organized the event was given a ticket, The Crimson White reports.