Students across America defending their right to free speech have chalked up another victory, making it 30 times so far that they have taken down unconstitutional speech restrictions on college campuses.
Young Americans for Liberty teamed with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education to eliminate a restriction at Skyline College, near San Francisco, that prevented YAL Chapter President Eric Corgas from passing out copies of the U.S. Constitution.
YAL explains its membership includes students who want to promote “the ideas of liberty and freedom,” and they are not quiet about doing that.
Their activities include handing out copies of the Constitution “to promote an open and civil discussion at a part of the national Fight for Free Speech campaign.”
Their work, so far, has restored First Amendment rights to 633,080 students and promoted the revision in 30 speech policies.
In the latest confrontation, Corgas and other YAL members were holding a free speech ball event and handing out copies of the U.S. Constitution when Skyline administrators informed them that they needed to complete a permit application before engaging in any expressive activity on campus.
Their advocates then told Skyline and San Mateo County Community College District, to which Skyline belongs, such restrictions were unconstitutional.
The college eventually amended its policy to “ensure students can engage in expressive activity outside of the school’s free speech zone.” It also dropped the requirement for a permit.
“There are too many colleges like Skyline that have unconstitutional free speech policies restricting students’ abilities to educate their peers on the ideologies they believe in,” warned YAL President Cliff Maloney. “The First Amendment does not require a permit, and I am glad Skyline College now agrees.”
FIRE had suggested changes to the college policy because it improperly limited students’ expressive activities to designated “zones” and demanded students fill out a permit application.
“Public colleges can’t limit student expressive activity to ‘free speech areas’ or require that they fill out permits before engaging in expressive activity,” said FIRE Staff Attorney Brynne Madway. “We commend Skyline and the district for changing Skyline’s policies so quickly in response to our letter, and we are glad that Skyline students will return to school in 2018 with policies that would earn a ‘green light’ in our Spotlight Database.”