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Citrus College Suspends Enforcement of Challenged Policies as Lawsuit Proceeds

Late yesterday, Citrus College in California agreed to largely suspend enforcement of the three policies challenged in Sinapi-Riddle v. Citrus Community College District. The First Amendment lawsuit challenging Citrus College’s policies was filed on July 1 on behalf of student Vinny Sinapi-Riddle as part of FIRE’s Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project.

Specifically, Citrus College has agreed to cease prohibiting students from engaging in spontaneous expressive activity outside of the institution’s tiny “Free Speech Area,” established by institutional policy AP 3900 (PDF). Students are still prohibited from congregating or handing out printed matter within 25 feet of doorways and indoor facilities, and speech may not disrupt the educational process or other scheduled campus activities.

Similarly, the college will cease enforcing portions of AP 5450 (PDF), which requires student organizations to request administrative permission before “all activities and fundraisers whether held on or off campus.” The college will require approval only in instances where District or club funds or resources are to be used or expended, and in those instances will require one business day before approving or rejecting the request.

Finally, the college has committed to suspend enforcement of its Harassment Policy, established in AP 7102 (PDF), except in instances where the conduct or expression in question is unprotected by the First Amendment or is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive to constitute harassment as a matter of law.

The lawsuit will proceed while the policies are suspended.

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