“Young Americans for Liberty chapter hadn’t been officially recognized”
Bunker Hill Community College in Boston sent police after students for handing out copies of the constitution. Then FIRE and Alliance Defending Freedom got involved.
The College Fix reports:
Community college that sent police after students passing out Constitutions revises its policies
This spring, Bunker Hill Community College in Massachusetts ordered a student group to stop handing out copies of the Constitution outdoors on campus. The order was backed by police force, and the students were reported for violating the conduct code.
You see, the Young Americans for Liberty chapter hadn’t been officially recognized. Then the club learned that it had been given misinformation by the school: There were no written policies and procedures for obtaining recognition. It was all subject to the whims of the Student Activities Office and the Student Government Association.
After a joint warning from two free speech groups and a summer’s work with their lawyers, Bunker Hill finally has speech policies that pass constitutional muster – and the Massachusetts Community College System is working on a broader review.
The Alliance Defending Freedom announced the changes Monday, which include an end to the “blanket ban on student rights to distribute materials on campus or to engage in spontaneous speech absent pre-approval,” as the YAL chapter did after waiting several weeks for instructions on getting recognition.
The alliance and Foundation for Individual Rights in Education also started a broader review of policies among other colleges in the system “that would similarly prevent peaceful demonstration and distribution of literature on campus,” FIRE said Monday.
In a joint letter to the system’s general counsel last week, made available Monday, the alliance and FIRE commended Bunker Hill leadership for changing policies. They included provisions that formerly punished students for “meeting outside this policy” and required their clubs to “support the academic curriculum and/or mission” of the college.
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