ACLU decries public college’s new speech code as unconstitutional

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) claimed in a letter Monday, that a new set of rules proposed by administrators for the Seattle Community College District violate student's First Amendment right to free speech.

According to the Seattle Times, the ACLU has criticized a stipulation that would require individuals and groups not affiliated with the college to sign-in and provide a name before they enter campus and exercise their free speech.

“The proposal also runs afoul of free-speech protections because it requires groups not affiliated with the college to register only when a college administrator requests that they do so,” reads the ACLU’s letter.

It is “an unfettered grant of discretion that allows the college to arbitrarily determine which groups will be subjected to prior restraint,” it adds.

Officials started revising campus speech policies after the Occupy Seattle protests in the fall of 2011.

Spokeswoman Patricia Paquette told the Times the school will evaluate the ACLU’s concerns prior to a vote by the district trustees policy at their December 5, meeting.

The Seattle college district is composed of three colleges - North Seattle, South Seattle, and Seattle Central community colleges.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AEdwardsCRO

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