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FORT PIERCE - A community college is drawing criticism for banning a Christian student organization from showing the controversial Mel Gibson movie ``The Passion of the Christ.''
Indian River Community College officials defended the decision, saying they were following a long-standing practice banning student groups from airing R-rated films.
The rule aims to protect underage students attending the college under its dual-enrollment program with local high schools, said Johnny Moore, IRCC vice president of student affairs.
``The decision ... had nothing to do with the movie's religious context,'' Moore said.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, has accused the school of a double standard because it allowed other R-rated films, such as the documentary ``Welcome to Sarajevo.''
FIRE President David French said the college was trampling on the ``legal and moral rights to free speech and freedom of conscience.'' He said the ban is part of a national problem of higher-learning institutions limiting religious activities on campuses... Download file "College Criticized For Banning Movie"