California College Campus Bars Student From Handing Out Copies of the Constitution

September 20, 2013

by Heather Ginsberg at

Earlier this week we celebrated Constitution Day, or at least some of us did. In California, apparently it’s not okay to pass out pocket-sized copies of the founding document. A student at the Modesto Junior College in California was trying to pass out copies of the Constitution on Constitution Day, but was told he wasn’t allowed.

According to Fox News:

Campus authorities told 25-year-old Robert Van Tuinen, who caught the whole thing on videotape, he could only pass out the free documents at a tiny designated spot on campus, and only then if he scheduled it several days in advance.

A spokeswoman for the college tells that students and the general public are permitted to pass out materials in areas on campus that are generally available to the public, as long as they do not disrupt the orderly operations of the college.

“In the case of the YouTube video, it does not appear that the student was disrupting the orderly operations of the college and therefore we are looking into the incident,” Modesto Junior College Marketing and Public Relations officer Linda Hoile said.

In the video, Van Tuinen is confronted by an unidentified campus police officer within minutes of passing out the pamphlets. When he protests, he is told “there are rules.”

Watch the video for yourself!

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