Opinion

Don’t cage my speech! Student sues college and wins

How can a tiny group of students possibly fight against the restrictive free speech policies of a university? This short but compelling “David and Goliath” story tells how a couple of Ohio students did exactly that.

Free speech zones” sound so innocuous, but they really amount to nothing short of cages springing up on college campuses across the country to restrict the dissemination of information rather than facilitate it.

When Young Americans for Liberty member Chris Morbitzer wanted to get the word out about the issues of the day, the University of Cincinnati restricted him and other group members to a tiny spit of land comprising 0.1 percent of the campus.

The university’s “free speech zone” was also set up away from normal foot traffic, making it harder for group members to be seen, let alone heard. They were told they’d be arrested for trespassing if they ventured outside the designated area.

“I think it is absurd that they were threatening to put me in jail for exercising what is a constitutional right,” Morbitzer said in a video video produced by The FIRE.

The First Amendment freedoms of speech and press are designed to promote the free exchange of ideas. Because the university seemed so intent on stifling speech, the group decided to file a lawsuit.

“Me suing the university felt a lot like David versus Goliath, like, I stood no chance at all because, you know, I’m just a little student., Morbitzer said

The video was produced by FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

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