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The Wesleyan Argus, Wesleyan University

October 2015
Wesleyan University

Bryan Stascavage—a 30-year-old Iraq veteran and Wesleyan student—wrote an opinion column for the Wesleyan Argus, a student newspaper, criticizing Black Lives Matter’s tactics and messaging. Almost immediately students began protesting the article, starting by vandalizing and destroying copies of the newspaper across campus. The protestors also demanded that the student government defund the Argus unless a series of diversity-based demands were met. Due to widespread backlash from the administration and the general public, the student government dropped the defunding proposal.

Roberts v. Haragan

From June 2003, to September 2004
Texas Tech University Law School

Jason Roberts—a student at Texas Tech University Law School (“TTU”)—requested permission to give a speech and hand out literature on campus detailing his religious and political views on homosexuality. Roberts declined to use the “free speech area” at the school, instead requesting a specific location on a street corner on campus. Although the school ultimately granted his request—albeit at a location across the street from his desired location—Roberts filed suit against TTU in the Northern District of Texas alleging that the school’s speech policy violated his First Amendment Rights. Even though TTU amended their speech policy after Roberts filed suit, the court held that the amended speech policy still violated the First Amendment due to its overbreadth and due to TTU’s failure to show a sufficient interest in controlling student speech to justify the speech policy’s intrusion on students’ First Amendment rights. Thus, the court struck down several provisions of TTU’s amended student speech policy as unconstitutional, granting declaratory and injunctive relief to Roberts.

Sanders v. Guzman

From February 2015, to May 2016
Blinn College

Student was instructed by university official that she and her friends would need “special permission” to display political signs on campus, and to remain within the college’s “free speech zone” if she wanted to demonstrate. As part of the settlement agreement, Blinn College agreed to revise restrictive policies targeted in the lawsuit to comply with the First Amendment. Blinn also agreed to pay student Nicole Sanders $50,000 for damages and attorney’s fees.

N.Y. v. San Ramon Valley Unified Sch. Dist.

From July 2017, to April 2020
San Ramon Valley Unified School District

A high school disciplined a student for creating an offensive video and then allegedly created a hostile environment against the student, when the student threatened to bring a lawsuit against the school district.

Tatro v. University of Minnesota

From August 2009, to June 2012
University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota did not violate a student’s free speech rights by imposing disciplinary sanctions for Facebook posts that violated academic program rules where the academic program rules were narrowly tailored and directly related to established professional conduct standards.

Young Americans for Liberty at Kellogg Community College v. Kellogg Community College

From September 2016, to March 2018
Kellogg Community College

Michelle Gregoire and Brandon Withers—two students at Kellogg Community College (“KCC”)—were distributing pocket-size copies of the United States Constitution on campus. Although they were not impeding any walkways or accosting students, college administrators approached them and ordered them to stop their activities since they were violating multiple KCC “speech policies.” When Gregoire and Withers refused, citing their First Amendment rights, the school had them—and an associate—arrested, jailed, and charged with trespassing. Although the charges were soon dropped, the school refused to change any of its speech policies. Gregoire and Withers filed a complaint in the Western District of Michigan seeking injunctive, declaratory, and monetary relief to force KCC to change its allegedly unconstitutional policies. The school eventually settled, agreed to change its policies, and paid Gregoire and Withers $55,000 in damages and attorneys’ fees.

Keefe v. Adams

From February 2013, to April 2017
Central Lakes College

Student was removed from nursing program after posting disparaging statuses about a fellow classmate.