“This settlement helps ensure that what happened to Maggie will not happen to any other student.”
This is one student who doesn’t have to worry about how to pay for her tuition.
Campus Reform reports:
Student to receive $80k settlement after suing university for free speech violations
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) will pay $80,000 to a student after she filed a lawsuit claiming the university penalized her for her conservative political viewpoints.
Maggie DeJong sued the university in May 2022 after it issued a no contact order that prohibited her from having “any contact” or “indirect communication” with three graduate students who disagreed with her views.
“This settlement helps ensure that what happened to Maggie will not happen to any other student. We are hopeful that this free speech victory opens universities to what they should be—marketplaces of ideas, not echo chambers for one ideology,” Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) Media Relations Specialist Hayden Sledge told Campus Reform.
“This case teaches universities that they cannot silence students simply because others disagree with what they have to say,” he continued. “Access to education and professional training cannot be conditioned on surrendering the right to free speech. Maggie’s stand should inspire universities nationwide to reaffirm their commitment to serving as our marketplaces of ideas.”
According to ADF, the lawsuit allows the religious liberty legal group to provide First Amendment training to three SIUE professors, as they will revise their policies to “ensure students with varying political, religious, and ideological views are welcome in the art therapy program.”
DeJong said the university issued a no contact order against her to discourage discussions between her and her classmates who accused her speech of being “unwelcoming” and “harassing,” the letter reads.
The punishment disallowed DeJong from “fully participating” in classes where the students were present and “chilled” her capability to “frequent campus” in fear of being accused of violating the “no contact orders.”
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