Pierson said Western’s administration doesn’t protect students from groups that bring hate speech to campus. This spurred her to start the petition, she said.“I felt that I was being targeted by hate speech via the display and knew other people who felt the same way, so I began the petition with the help of some friends as a way for students’ and faculty’s concerns to be recognized,” Pierson said.
“All I can do is explain what constitutes free speech,” Schuster said. “I’m not a lawyer, but I know based on Supreme Court decisions that it’s appropriate to have these dialogues on campus and we can’t restrict peoples’s ability to have them. We can set a time, place and manner although the entire campus is a free speech area.”
This affair appears to be part of an emerging nationwide trend of pro-life displays being vandalized on college campuses. Last month, Greg blogged on a situation at Northern Kentucky University where a pro-life exhibit of 400 crosses in the ground was destroyed in an effort led by an NKU professor. And at Princeton University, a similar display was destroyed just a week later. According to The Daily Princetonian, a club called Princeton Pro-Life had put up “347 flags…[that] were meant to represent the lives of students who might have become members of the University’s Class of 2010 had abortion not been legalized.” That happened on April 17. But then, in the wee hours of the morning of April 20, vandals pulled the flags out of the ground, trampled and altered the club’s signage, and peppered the area with coat hangers. Pro-choice banners in the area were also destroyed; it is not known if the same vandals were responsible for both incidents.