Sinclair Community College: Police Ban Signs at Religious Freedom Rally

Category: Free Speech
Schools: Sinclair Community College

On June 8, 2012, SCC’s Traditional Values Club student group hosted an on-campus religious freedom rally to protest health coverage mandates from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. SCC police declared that signs of any kind, pro or con, were not allowed at the event and ordered all signs to be placed on the ground. SCC police reportedly have been banning signs at campus events at least since 1990, despite a lack of support for doing so in SCC policy. FIRE wrote to SCC on June 15, asking it to immediately reject this blatantly unconstitutional censorship. On July 6, the Thomas More Society, in discussion with FIRE and working with Ohio attorneys Curt C. Hartman, Christopher P. Finney, and Bradley M. Gibson, brought a First Amendment lawsuit against SCC in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. In March 2013 SCC settled the lawsuit, agreeing to revise its Campus Access Policy in addition to paying fees to the plaintiffs and their attorneys.