WND – December 21, 2016
A Christian student prevented from sharing his faith due to restrictive and subjectively applied “free speech” rules at Georgia Gwinnett College has filed a 76-page lawsuit against 11 named college officials.
“The First Amendment guarantees every student’s freedom of speech and religion. Every public school – and especially a state college that is supposed to be the ‘marketplace of ideas’ – has the duty to protect and promote those freedoms,” said ADF legal counsel Travis Barham, representing student Chike Uzuegbunam in the matter.
“Students don’t check their constitutionally protected free speech at the campus gate. While touting commitments to ‘diversity’ and ‘open communications,’ Georgia Gwinnett College confines the speech of students to two ridiculously small speech zones and then censors the speech that occurs in those areas.”
Uzuegbunam first ran afoul of GGC’s policy when he attempted to hand out literature and speak with willing listeners about his evangelical faith on the plaza in front of the campus library. Despite positioning himself so as to not interfere with foot traffic, he was stopped by college officials who informed him that any such activity on campus required a permit. He was also told he would need a permit to approach anyone to privately share his faith.
The college’s only exceptions are two restricted “free speech” zones, comprising just .0015 percent of the 260-acre campus. Even here, students must submit any materials they wish to display or hand out three days in advance and are restricted to use of the zones only once every 30 days. The zones are only available for use 18 hours per week.