Montclair State University: Student Barred from Campus for Violating Unconstitutional 'Gag Order'


Montclair State University

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Case Overview

FIRE Victory closed

In October 2012, Montclair State University issued a no-contact order to student Joseph Aziz in response to unflattering comments about a student he had posted to a politically charged YouTube video that September. The no-contact order included a gag order prohibiting him from posting "any social media regarding" the other student. After Aziz later posted comments about the matter to a private Facebook group, Montclair State charged him with several conduct violations, including harassment and disruptive conduct, and in December 2012 sanctioned him for failing to comply with its unconstitutional gag order. Aziz was suspended for the spring 2013 semester and barred from campus under penalty of arrest. FIRE wrote to Montclair State President Susan A. Cole on January 4, 2013, pointing out that the gag order and subsequent punishment violated Aziz's First Amendment rights. On January 17, shortly after FIRE publicized the case, Cole lifted the order and reversed Aziz's suspension.