Speech Code Rating
Speech Code Rating: Green
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement
Last updated: December 15, 2013Engaging in expression which is obscene; libelous or slanderous; or which so incites students as to create a clear and present danger of the commission of unlawful acts on District premises. Read More
July 1, 2014
On September 17, 2013 Citrus College student Vincenzo Sinapi-Riddle was threatened with removal from campus by an administrator for asking a fellow student to sign a petition protesting NSA surveillance of American citizens.
May 19, 2003
NOTE: This case is NOT in conjunction with FIRE’s Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project. If you are attempting to find information about the 2014 litigation against Citrus College, you may find it here. In 2003, at California’s Citrus College, under the pressure of litigation and FIRE’s national campaign for campus constitutional rights, the Board of… Read more
March 7, 2003
A Citrus College professor had compelled undergraduate students to write anti-war letters to President George W. Bush, penalizing the grades of students who dissented or refused to send the letters. After FIRE intervened, the Citrus College administration repudiated this outrage and resolved all issues in favor of freedom of conscience.
September 17, 2018
Much of FIRE’s advocacy on behalf of college students’ civil rights — including freedom of speech, conscience, press, and more — springs from the guidance of a single source: The United States Constitution. But despite its status as the nation’s preeminent founding legal document, some public campus administrators still don’t fully understand the expressive rights it… Read more
September 17, 2015
Today is Constitution Day, marking the 228th anniversary of the day the drafters signed the U.S. Constitution. It’s a day we cherish at FIRE for many reasons, but particularly because so many students celebrate by exercising their First Amendment rights on campus. Sometimes the simple act of handing out a copy of the Constitution can… Read more
December 10, 2014
Last week, in the space of 24 hours, FIRE’s Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project scored two victories in the fight for First Amendment rights on campus. On December 2, 2014, the University of Hawaii (UH) agreed to a settlement with two students, Merritt Burch and Anthony Vizzone, who had been stopped from passing out… Read more
December 3, 2014
LOS ANGELES, December 3, 2014—Today, Citrus College in California agreed to settle a student’s free speech lawsuit for $110,000, marking the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s (FIRE’s) second victory for the First Amendment in 24 hours. Student Vincenzo Sinapi-Riddle filed the federal lawsuit in July as part of FIRE’s Stand Up For Speech Litigation… Read more
November 5, 2014
Today, FIRE released a new video that chronicles Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project plaintiff Vincenzo Sinapi-Riddle’s fight for free speech at Citrus College in California. As Torch readers may recall, Sinapi-Riddle’s troubles with Citrus College began September 17, 2013—Constitution Day—when he asked another student to sign a petition protesting the National Security Agency’s surveillance… Read more
September 18, 2014
September 17, 2013—last year’s Constitution Day—turned out to be a dark moment in the history of free speech on America’s campuses. That was the day Robert Van Tuinen was stopped from handing out Constitutions on the campus of Modesto Junior College (MJC) in California. He had neglected to sign up to use the school’s tiny… Read more
September 18, 2014
Citrus College in California, like many other colleges and universities around the country, enacted policies to quarantine student speech to a tiny—and unconstitutional—“free speech area.” Last year, student Vincenzo Sinapi-Riddle was even threatened with removal from campus by an administrator for asking a fellow student to sign a petition protesting NSA surveillance of American citizens… Read more
September 11, 2014
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… Read more
September 2, 2014
PHILADELPHIA, September 2, 2014—As millions of college students arrive on campus this fall—many for the first time—few of them realize that nearly 59 percent of our nation’s colleges maintain policies that clearly and substantially restrict speech protected by the First Amendment. Too many students will realize that the rights they took for granted as Americans… Read more
July 24, 2014
Citrus College’s First Amendment troubles didn’t just start when an administrator stopped student Vinny Sinapi-Riddle from gathering petition signatures on campus last September 17, Constitution Day. In fact, as FIRE’s Will Creeley wrote for the Los Angeles Register earlier this month, Citrus was trying to keep Sinapi-Riddle inside precisely the kind of “free speech area” that Citrus agreed to eliminate in 2003 after another student took Citrus to court to challenge its restrictions on speech.
July 14, 2014
FIRE’s new Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project has received a lot of attention since it was launched on July 1—much of it from free speech advocates who recognize the need for court cases aimed at striking down campus speech codes. Today, Bloomberg View columnist and FIRE Board of Directors member Virginia Postrel writes to address remarks from some skeptics of the project, including those who advocate for free speech zones.
July 4, 2014
We learn in grade school that freedom of speech is the hallmark of a free nation and the cornerstone of democracy. Yet the urge to censor seems almost irresistible, no matter who wields authority. As FIRE followers know all too well, public colleges and universities routinely restrict and punish constitutionally protected expression. In academia, where First Amendment freedoms are most precious, they are at serious risk. Nearly 60 percent of the 427 institutions that FIRE has surveyed maintain policies that clearly and substantially infringe upon freedom of speech.
July 2, 2014
Following yesterday’s launch of FIRE’s Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project, FIRE Senior Vice President Robert Shibley takes to The Washington Post today to explain why litigation is necessary:
July 2, 2014
This week was an exciting one for FIRE, as we took a huge step forward in the fight for free expression on campus with the launch of our Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project. While we’re proud to usher in this new era in FIRE’s history, we’re even prouder to do so alongside the brave students and faculty members who have taken this opportunity to stand up for speech. We hope you will consider supporting these plaintiffs as they fight back against campus censorship.
July 2, 2014
Yesterday, FIRE launched our new Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project, a national effort to eliminate unconstitutional speech codes through targeted First Amendment lawsuits. Within minutes of the announcement, major media outlets were spreading the word, and over the past 24 hours, the nation’s top newspapers have reported on this big step in the fight for free speech on campus. Here is some of yesterday’s and today’s news coverage of Stand Up For Speech and the four lawsuits FIRE brought yesterday with the help of law firm Davis Wright Tremaine:
July 1, 2014
WASHINGTON, July 1, 2014—This morning, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) coordinated the filing of lawsuits against Ohio University, Chicago State University, Iowa State University, and Citrus College (Calif.). The filings launch FIRE’s new Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project, a national effort to eliminate unconstitutional speech codes through targeted First Amendment lawsuits…. Read more
June 19, 2012
Last week, United States District Judge Timothy S. Black held that the University of Cincinnati’s (UC’s) "free speech zone" policy "violates the First Amendment and cannot stand." This victory came after FIRE helped coordinate a federal lawsuit in cooperation with Ohio’s 1851 Center for Constitutional Law on behalf of UC’s chapter of Young Americans for… Read more
This Month in FIRE History: Victory for Freedom of Conscience at Citrus College; Coerced Student Anti-War Letters Repudiated by Administration
March 13, 2009
As we at FIRE often say, as dangerous as it is to tell citizens what they can and cannot say, it is far worse to tell them what they must say and, worse still—what they must believe. Unfortunately, we have far too many examples of colleges doing exactly that. In February of 2003, Citrus College… Read more
July 10, 2007
In yesterday’s Campus Alert, FIRE’s weekly column in the New York Post, we discussed the disturbing prevalence of free speech zones at America’s public universities. Providing readers with a representative sample of schools that either currently maintain free speech zones or have done so in the past, we wrote: Onerous speech zones have been reported… Read more