NOTE: The article excerpted on this page is from an outside publication and is posted on FIRE's website because it references FIRE's work. The viewpoints expressed in this article do not necessarily represent FIRE's positions.
25-year-old student Robert Van Tuinen was passing out pocket-sized constitutions at Modesto Junior College in California to celebrate Constitution Day on September 17. However, he was quickly stopped by a police officer.
The confrontation was caught on camera. The police officer tells Robert that he can only pass out constitutions in a designated spot on campus, a free speech spot, and only if he obtains permission in advance from school security.
Robert proceeds to ask the officer if he thinks that is a violation of free speech and first amendment rights, to which the officer replies, "I'm sure it is...but I'm giving you a solution. I'm not trying to stop you, I'm just telling you there is a process you have to go through...