San Francisco State University: Students Investigated for Stepping on Flags

Category: Free Speech
Schools: San Francisco State University

The College Republicans at San Francisco State University held an anti-terrorism protest against Hezbollah and Hamas by stomping on homemade replicas of those organizations’ flags. Unbeknownst to the students, the flags of the two organizations contain the word “Allah” in Arabic script. Another student complained, alleging “acts of incivility,” “intimidation,” and the creation of a “hostile environment.” The school responded by instituting disciplinary action against the College Republicans. After FIRE intervened, the college ended the investigation and decided not to punish the students involved. However, the incident led to litigation over SFSU’s speech codes, which is detailed here.