Another problematic policy bites the dust

March 7, 2014

by Bog Kellogg at OneNewsNow

A California junior college has to fork over $50,000 to settle a lawsuit for previously refusing to deal with its unconstitutional speech policies.

When Modesto Junior College student Robert Van Tuinen tried to hand out copies of the Constitution on Constitution Day, he was told that was not permitted on campus. Then when he took a video camera to meet with a school official and plead his case, Robert Shibley of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) says the student was turned away.

“When he brought his concerns to the folks at Modesto, obviously, as you can see from the video, they ignored him,” reports Shibley. “And when FIRE wrote as well, before the lawsuit, they did not respond to that either. So, they really left him with very little choice.”

In addition to paying the $50,000 settlement, Modesto is doing away with its problematic policies.

“Modesto Junior College has decided to remove the policies that were used to prevent Robert Van Tuinen from passing out Constitutions on campus and has gone from a very restrictive place when it comes to distributing literature to a very free place,” the FIRE spokesman tells OneNewsNow.

Shibley feels the settlement sends a message to other schools that policies restricting distribution of literature will not be popular on campus and will not hold up in a court of law.


Schools: Modesto Junior College Cases: Modesto Junior College: Students Barred from Distributing Constitutions on Constitution Day