Pushback: Court rules against college’s attempt to censor students

One poster that Clovis Community College tried to censor
One of the posters that Clovis Community College officials agreed to
“gladly” remove because it made some students “very uncomfortable.”

Bring a gun to a knife fight: A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction against Clovis Community College in California, ruling that it violated the free speech rights of its students when college officials removed posters put up by students from the college’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter that condemned communism and socialism.

The lawsuit [pdf] was filed for the students by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE).

The college insists that it reserves the right to remove flyers over “inappropriate or [offensive] language or themes.” The lack of any definition for those vague terms would weigh heavily with the court in granting the preliminary injunction.

FIRE produced emails showing that a college administrator offered to “gladly take down” the flyers after “several people” said that they were “very uncomfortable” with the flyers, including a person who allegedly threatened a “harassment claim” if the posters were not taken down.

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