Winona State University: Outdoor Speech Restrictions

Category: Free Speech
Schools: Winona State University

In April 2012, the GLBTA Partnership at Winona State University planned to hold a “Day of Silence” event and requested permission from WSU to position mannequin torsos bearing various epithets and slurs on campus. The university prohibited GLBTA from displaying the torsos in or near WSU’s outdoor gazebo, claiming that school-aged children would be on the campus and that it “would not be appropriate to expose” them to the language. Following a letter from FIRE, WSU defended as “reasonable” its decision to allow the outdoor display of the mannequins only from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.-an unreasonable restriction.

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