Lone Star College-Tomball

Location: Tomball, Texas
Website: http://tomball.lonestar.edu
Type: No Type Yet
Federal Circuit: 5th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

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  • Lone Star College: Student Group Threatened with Probation and Derecognition for Posting Flyer

    September 26, 2008

    The Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) were among a variety of student organizations distributing flyers at Lone Star College – Tomball during an event for student groups to recruit new members. YCT’s flyer included a satirical list of “Top Ten Gun Safety Tips” including, “If your gun misfires, never look down the barrel to inspect it.” Program Manager for Student Activities Shannon Marino reportedly told the YCT Chairman that the flyer was inappropriate and confiscated the flyers. Comer appealed to Dean of Student Development E. Edward Albracht, but Albracht also said the flyer was inappropriate and invoked the prior year’s […]

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Red Light Policies

  • Lone Star College System Policy Manual: Student Code of Conduct 09-10

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility, Statement

    Engaging in obscene, vulgar, offensively lewd, or indecent conduct, expression, or sexual conduct in or on LSCS property, including computer access of obscene material.

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  • Lone Star College System Policy Manual: Computer Safety and Rules 09-10

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies, Statement

    The following conduct by computer users shall be treated as a violation of this policy and may subject the user to discipline, including loss of computing privileges, up to and including termination for a System employee, and dismissal for a student: ... the display or transmission of messages, images, cartoons, or other messages or images that are sexually explicit or that demean a person on the basis of age, race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, disability, or religion, which may constitute prohibited harassment under System policies.

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Green Light Policies
  • Lone Star College System Policy Manual: Student Code of Conduct 09-10

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    Examples of non-academic misconduct, include, but are not limited to the following:
    ...
    Causing physical and/or psychological abuse, threats of violence, terroristic threats, stalking, or harassment of any member of the LSCS community or visitor on LSCS property, or conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any such person. This includes verbal threats and threats made via electronic communication.

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  • Lone Star College System Policy Manual: Prohibited Harassment 09-10

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    Harassment occurs by a System employee, student, or regular visitor to the System facilities that: ... Subjects a person to unwelcome sexual-, racial-, color-, creed, national origin-, gender-, age-, veteran's status-, sexual orientation-, or disability-based conduct that is so severe or pervasive that is effectively alters the conditions of education or employment by creating an intimidating or hostile environment for work or learning.

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  • Lone Star College System Policy Manual: Prohibited Harassment 09-10

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    Sexual harassment means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, verbal and written comments or physical conduct that is gender-based or of a sexual nature when: ... b. The conduct:

    i. has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or academic environment; or

    ii. unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance.

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  • Lone Star College System Policy Manual: Student and Community Use of System Facilities 09-10

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression, Statement

    The System will protect the rights of freedom of speech, petition, and peaceful assembly as set forth in the U.S. Constitution.

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  • Introduction To Irony: Or, How To Take A Joke 101

    December 4, 2012

    I know a few Holocaust jokes. I learned them from the children of survivors. I suspect they’d disagree with the Harvard student who declared that pain was no laughing matter. “I don’t think that jokes should trigger on any type of pain,” 20-year-old Dakota Rot explained to the Boston Globe. She was responding to satirical fliers distributed on campus advertising a fake social club, noting “Jews need not apply,” and “Coloreds Okay,” and including a reference to date rape. “If you’re a person that’s part Jewish or a person of color or a woman who’s has been in any dangerous situation, you […]

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  • Why can’t students say ‘guns’ in school?

    April 21, 2009

    by Glenn Garvin Miami Herald   Media snicker of the day: those crazy gun nuts, worried that the government is out to snatch their constitutional rights along with their AK-47s. 60 Minutes is the latest to have a chuckle, playing a commercial for a Washington, D.C.-area firearms show that that urges viewers to “Celebrate the Second Amendment and get your guns while you still can!” My own hunch is that the sheer number of Americans who own guns (the low estimate is something over 40 million) will keep their Second Amendment rights off the endangered-species list for the foreseeable future. […]

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  • Big gun on campus

    November 10, 2008

    If you want to go to college, you’d better check your funnybone at the door. And if you think there might be even the slightest possibility that there could be something humorous about guns, don’t go anywhere near a campus. Specifically, don’t go anywhere near Lone Star College-Tomball, a public college near Houston. (Don’t worry if you’re not from Texas, most Texans never heard of this school either.) Several students, initially guilty of no offense greater than being members of a group called Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT), passed out a flyer designed to recruit new members into their club […]

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  • College threatens students for even discussing guns

    October 26, 2008

    The Young Conservatives of Texas branch at the Houston-area Lone Star College-Tomball has been censored and threatened with campus-wide de-recognition for passing out a humorous pamphlet with gun jokes at a campus fair. The dispute is being addressed by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, which has written college officials reminding them of the college’s constitutional obligation to respect the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and to acknowledge the flyer’s contents are protected speech. “Distributing a joke-filled top-ten list at a student activities fair is a creative way for a student group to educate its peers […]

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  • Top one reason to censor unfunny lists

    October 23, 2008

    When a list of “Top Ten Gun Safety Tips” begins with “Always keep your gun pointed in a safe direction, such as at a hippy or a Communist,” you know two things: 1) Some conservative group is involved. 2) You won’t be rolling in tears of laughter by the time you finish the list. (“Hippy”? Why, you can’t tell the boys from the girls these days, what with the long hair and all….) A third thing is now known, however: If you distribute the list at a college, you’re going to get threatened with punishment. Officials at Lone Star College-Tomball […]

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  • Speech Code of the Month: Wake Forest University

    May 5, 2014

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for May 2014: Wake Forest University. Wake Forest’s “Campus Posting” policy explicitly restricts student postings on the basis of their viewpoint. Not only does the policy ban any postings subjectively deemed “sexist,” “racist,” “derogatory,” or not in “good taste,” but it threatens violators with fines and disciplinary action. With this policy, Wake Forest places an impermissibly heavy burden on students wishing to express controversial political or social opinions on campus.

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  • Lone Star Trustee Speaks out about Free Speech on Campus

    September 11, 2013

    Ron Trowbridge, Lone Star College (Texas) trustee, Senior Fellow at the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, and former chief of staff to Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger, wrote for SeeThruEdu on Sunday to reiterate his remarks at a recent Lone Star College System Board meeting on why freedom of speech is so important, particularly at colleges and universities. In his piece, Trowbridge shared excerpts from John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty: If any opinion is compelled to silence, that opinion may, for aught we can certainly know, be true. To deny this is to assume our own infallibility.Though the […]

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  • FIRE Launches New Video Series With Short Film on Censorship of Gun-Related Speech

    June 30, 2010

    PHILADELPHIA, June 30, 2010—Today, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is proud to release a new short film, “Empty Holsters: Gun Speech on America’s Campuses,” highlighting widespread campus censorship of student speech about guns. The film is the first in a new FIRE series focusing on how colleges and universities across America are preventing students and faculty members from speaking out on the weightiest political issues of the day. “In the wake of Monday’s Supreme Court decision in McDonald v. Chicago, debate about the Second Amendment and gun rights is sure to be hotter than ever,” said FIRE […]

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  • Rights in the News: At Maryland, Virginia Tech, UMass and Elsewhere, FIRE Cases Grabbing Headlines

    April 10, 2009

    Another week, another crush of FIRE cases from around the country battling for headlines. I’ll start with Greg’s Huffington Post blog on the controversy swirling around the University of Maryland campus in the wake of a legislator’s threat to pull funding from the university if it allowed students to screen an adult film on campus—which, after a hiccup or two, they went ahead and did anyway. Elsewhere, Robert addressed a brewing controversy at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst via a column in The Boston Globe, while Adam took to the editorial pages of Virginia Tech’s student newspaper The Collegiate […]

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  • Jefferson ‘Muzzle’ Awards for Censorship Given to Two Colleges Involved in FIRE Cases

    April 7, 2009

    Every year, the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression awards the “Jefferson Muzzle” to a few of the year’s most egregious violators of free speech rights. For the second year in a row (and three out of the last four years), the Center has selected one or more of the malefactors in FIRE cases to receive this symbol of dishonor. This year, the administrations of Lone Star College–Tomball and Tarrant County College, both in Texas, received Muzzles for censoring gun-related speech in FIRE cases. As the Center reports: For suppressing on a community college campus several types […]

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  • Too Often, First Amendment Protections Denied to Second Amendment Speech

    March 10, 2009

    The First Amendment protects core political speech—and, as should be obvious, that protection extends to speech regarding the Second Amendment. This means that students at public universities and private universities that promise the right to free expression on campus must be free to engage in unfettered discussion of the merits of federal, state and local gun policy in the same way that they are free to discuss, say, agricultural subsidies, diplomatic relations with Cuba, or last night’s Daily Show. But an unfortunate consequence of the tragedies at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University is that students are increasingly facing punishment […]

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  • Rights in the News: Controversy at Southern Illinois Ignites FIRE’s 2009 Efforts

    January 16, 2009

    Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIUC) Chancellor Samuel Goldman and his administration have been a veritable one-stop shop for newsworthy content lately, as followers of The Torch this week are no doubt aware. In one of three articles penned by Adam Testa for the Southern Illinoisan, Goldman referred to FIRE as “embarrassing” SIUC into defending itself, as though its free speech crisis did not already exist, meanwhile having actually made FIRE’s requested change to SIUC’s protest policy. This prompted FIRE’s press release on SIUC’s doublespeak, to which Testa reported that the university will not respond. Goldman now asks for patience—but […]

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  • In Texas, First Amendment Imperiled in 2008

    January 1, 2009

    I’m not sure what happened down in Texas in 2008, but administrators at several schools have been unusually cowardly about even the slightest challenges to their ideas of good order on campus. During the election season there was the Great Non-Riot of 2008 at the University of Texas at Austin (UT), where two students faced punishment equivalent to suspension or expulsion for posting political signs on their dormitory-room window, which inspired students across campus to vow to do the same in solidarity and in a noble exercise of the right to freedom of expression. Once student outrage reached a high […]

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  • 2008 Highlights: FIRE Places Full-Page Ad in ‘U.S. News & World Report’ Calling Out ‘Red Alert’ Schools

    December 31, 2008

    While FIRE works on cases from hundreds of schools in a given year, we have a special list for those schools that have shown unique intransigence in the face of criticism from FIRE for abusing student and faculty rights. We call that special list our Red Alert list, and right now five schools have earned a spot among the “worst of the worst.”  This summer, we decided to step up our campaign for reform at Red Alert schools by running a full-page ad in the 2009 edition of U.S. News & World Report‘s all-important America’s Best Colleges issue, right next […]

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  • Speech Code of the Month: Lone Star College

    December 1, 2008

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for December 2008: Lone Star College in Texas. FIRE recently addressed the suppression of free speech at one of the colleges in the Lone Star College System, when Lone Star College–Tomball censored a student group for distributing a jocular flyer listing “Top Ten Gun Safety Tips.” The flyer, which was obviously intended to be a humorous David-Letterman-style top-ten list, included entries such as “no matter how responsible he seems, never give your gun to a monkey” and “if your gun misfires, never look down the barrel to inspect it.” Despite the authors’ […]

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  • Stop Invoking Virginia Tech to Punish Protected Speech

    November 24, 2008

    Of particular note in the court order in Barnes v. Zaccari, the federal civil rights lawsuit filed after former Valdosta State University (VSU) student Hayden Barnes was expelled for posting a collage on Facebook.com protesting the construction of new parking facilities at VSU, is this excerpt: For purposes of the motion to dismiss, the court determines that the inclusion of the word “memorial” by its mere utterance in a photo collage that was posted on an internet website simply cannot be rationally construed as likely to incite immediate violence, even in the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy that the […]

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  • Weekly Media Round-Up: Binghamton Case Hits National Stage, Temple and Lone Star Cases Continue to Reverberate

    November 14, 2008

    Yesterday, FIRE went public with its efforts to protect the constitutional rights of Binghamton University graduate student Andre Massena. As you’ve already seen from Adam’s earlier Torch post, yesterday’s press release quickly brought the issue to the national stage, with the story appearing at The Volokh Conspiracy and in The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required). Just as importantly, Adam’s post pointed to the unrest Binghamton’s treatment of Massena has fomented in the graduate student body, where the Graduate Student Organization of Binghamton University unanimously condemned the university’s actions yesterday in a letter to Binghamton President Lois DeFleur. Be sure […]

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  • Does Lone Star College–Tomball Really Fear the Word ‘Gun’?

    November 12, 2008

    Monday at Examiner.com, writer Garry Reed ridiculed Lone Star College–Tomball for its outlawing of any mention of “firearms” or “weapons” because of the “fear and concern” that such language apparently brings to people on campus. Here’s most of his good piece: [I]f you think there might be even the slightest possibility that there could be something humorous about guns, don’t go anywhere near a campus. Specifically, don’t go anywhere near Lone Star College-Tomball, a public college near Houston. (Don’t worry if you’re not from Texas, most Texans never heard of this school either.) Several students, initially guilty of no offense […]

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  • Victory at Temple College Explained in Today’s Podcast

    November 10, 2008

    Last Thursday, FIRE’s press release described our latest victory for freedom of expression at Temple College (Texas), where the school’s president quickly reversed the censorship of a religiously themed cartoon and the Nietzsche quotation “God is dead” after receiving a letter from FIRE. In today’s episode of FIREside Chats, Adam Kissel, Director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program, discusses this case in further detail and calls on administrators at Lake Superior State University and Lone Star College–Tomball to follow Temple’s lead by undoing the censorship of controversial posted materials on campus. To listen to the entire podcast, click here.

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  • Weekly Media Round-up: FIRE’s Defense of Satire and Political Expression on Full Display

    October 24, 2008

    Earlier this week, FIRE blogged and issued a press release about Lone Star College–Tomball’s threats against the school’s Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) chapter for distributing a satirical and entirely protected “gun-safety” flyer. After pointing out the college’s exploitation of the tragedies at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois as a way to silence protected speech, we also castigated the administration for contemplating punishing YCT with probation or outright dissolution. As Adam pointed out in plain terms, “there is simply nothing to investigate and not a single reason to censor.” Lone Star’s completely unreasonable response has drawn the ire of numerous […]

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  • ‘Top Ten Gun Safety Tips’ Censored at Lone Star College in Texas

    October 20, 2008

    The stifling of parody on college campuses in recent years is a sad tale of censorship, oversensitivity, and overreaction in the wake of actual incidents of violence. The latest case, as we document in today’s press release, occurred over nothing worse—be careful, and don’t be alarmed!—than a Letterman-style “top ten” list of “Gun Safety Tips.” The official student organization that published this list on a recruiting flyer, Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) at Lone Star College–Tomball, had its flyers confiscated during Lone Star College–Tomball’s “club rush,” and shortly afterward the group was told that it was under investigation and probably […]

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  • “Top Ten Gun Safety Tips” Censored at Lone Star College in Texas

    October 20, 2008

    HOUSTON, October 20, 2008—After distributing a jocular flyer listing “Top Ten Gun Safety Tips” at the school’s “club rush,” a student group was threatened with probation and derecognition at Lone Star College–Tomball, a public college near Houston. After college officials banned the Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) from distributing the flyer, the school’s general counsel invoked the specter of the Virginia Tech shootings, suggesting that even a “mention of firearms and weapons” is inherently a “material interference” with the school’s operations. The group has turned to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. “Distributing a joke-filled top-ten […]

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