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MJC halt of Constitution handout lands on YouTube

September 19, 2013

by Nan Austin in The Modesto Bee

Modesto Junior College security stopped a student from passing out copies of the U.S. Constitution in front of the east campus student center Tuesday, which was Constitution Day.

Robert Van Tuinen, 25, captured his furious but civil confrontation with the officer and campus administration on video and posted it Thursday on YouTube.

National attention garnered by the video prompted the Yosemite Community College District to issue a statement saying it was looking into the matter.

District policy allows students to distribute materials in the free-speech areas “as long as they don’t disrupt the orderly operation of the college," Public Affairs Director Nick Stavrianoudakis said by email.

“In the case of the YouTube video, it did not appear that the student was disrupting the orderly operation of the college,” the statement says. It ends with, “The administration of the YCCD supports the peaceful distribution of the Constitution and other materials on campus, which is why our colleges support Constitution Day with activities each year...

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