Leftist campus administrators attempt to shut down 9-11 commemorations and end up with our lawyers breathing down their necks…
Posted by iusbvision on September 19, 2011
Via our friends at CampusReform.org
VIDEO: Northern Arizona University (NAU) campus administration attempts to shut down 9/11 event; students hold their ground and defend the First Amendment.
Comments by Stephanee Freer:
Northern Arizona University (NAU) doesn’t want students to remember 9/11. At least that’s the message that NAU is sending to members of the Conservatives club who were interrupted and threatened by university administrators for four hours on Friday.
These actions by the administration occurred when the conservatives passed out American flags, buttons, stickers, and posters to students as part of the YAF 9/11: Never Forget Project.
The group was confronted for setting up their own table inside the university union, instead of registering with Student Life to request a space. After several administrators hassled them about the project, the club members took down the table and put it away along with the posters. In order to still remember 9/11, and comply with the administrators, Conservatives Club stood against the wall and handed out American flags to passerby.
This was not enough for the administration. They continued to go out of their way to intimidate, threaten, and interrupt the project.
Two students are currently being charged with several misconduct violations, and the club as a whole is facing suspension even though the event did not display the club’s name in any way.
The event paid reverence to the innocent victims that were lost and the broken families that were left behind. This is an example of how an act of free speech can go terribly wrong when students’ rights are infringed upon by leftist university bureaucrats.
Did administrators give you a hard time for your 9/11 memorial? Write about it on Campus Reform or contact your Regional Field Coordinator today for advice and assistance.
Read another account of the story here.
IUSB Vision Editor Chuck Norton:
Let us clear a few things up for any university admins who are viewing this page and watched that video. “Time, Place, and Manner” does not, has never and will never mean that you can set up “First Amendment zones” or “designated areas” as one administrator tried to invent in that video. Attempts to do so have always failed in the courts and universities that have enacted them have had them successfully challenged in federal court and in some cases paying damages/attorney’s fees.
“Time, Place, and Manner” comes into effect if the purpose of the demonstration is not speech, but rather to disrupt and prevent others from leaving or getting around the speech event.
Here are some examples:
One cannot hold a protest in the middle of a highway during rush hour.
One cannot have a large protest in the middle of a classroom while class is in session thus preventing the class from doing its mission.
One can have a protest in a cafeteria, but could not have one that surrounds the checkout so that people could not pay for their food.
All “Time, Place, and Manner” restrictions if proved necessary must place the minimum possible restrictions on the speech event and cannot be arbitrary.
Standing on the wall in a wide hallway or foyer doesn’t even come close to meeting the allowed “Time, Place, and Manner” legal standard, and if the university has ever let anyone set up a booth or table there than the university has already lost. If the university has bulletin boards there for people to stop and read those people would be taking up the same space as two students handing out flags on 9-11.
Under these circumstances it means that the university knew that such a small demonstration was allowable and the result would be the university suffering a humiliating defeat in court, and could also subject the administrators to a section 1983 lawsuit because they would have or should have reasonably known that they were using the color of law to selectively violate these students First Amendment rights by abusing the public trust using color of law. If a section 1983 lawsuit were successful it would mean that those students whose rights were violated could go after the personal assets of the said offending administrator (A legal strategy that FIRE and other groups who defend the First Amendment are now considering due to the gross misconduct of so many college administrators).
More From Stephanee Freer:
The administrators at Northern Arizona University are still trying to figure out what hit them. As a Leadership Institute Field Rep I worked with the NAU Conservatives to fight back after administrators tried to shut down their YAF 9/11 display.
After releasing a YouTube video that gained more than 1,500 hits exposing the NAU administrators harassing the students, local and national media outlets picked up on the story.
The Arizona Daily Sun, Drudge Report, Townhall, The Blaze, and the Daily Caller all posted stories on the absurd actions of the NAU administrators.
The media pressure became too much for the NAU administration. They have decided to drop the charges against all the students involved in the 9/11 memorial event.
On Monday morning, following Friday’s run-in with NAU Student Life administrators, the students being tried for misconduct violations requested their hearings be extended until the next week when their attorneys could be present.
The students wanted to make sure they were familiar with all of their rights. With the help of The Leadership Institute, they contacted both the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and the Alliance Defense Fund for legal assistance. Both organizations took an interest, and are providing legal support to the students.
The administration responded to the student’s request late Monday afternoon stating that they would, in fact, grant a hearing extension so that they could “review the situation more.”
Three hours later, the students were again contacted, and told that all charges were to be dropped.