UPDATE: Public college to formally change speech code after free speech lawsuit

Timothy Dionisopoulos
Former Reporter

  • Modesto Junior College student was prohibited from passing out pocket Constitutions on Constitution Day.
  • Student brought a lawsuit with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.
  • Yosemite Community College District will meet to address changes in the policy.
  • The board of Yosemite Community College District (YCCD) will meet on Wednesday to formally discuss changes to a controversial speech policy challenged in court by a student prevented from passing out pocket Constitutions on Constitution Day.

    Robert Van Tuinen, a student enrolled at Modesto Junior College (MJC), part of the YCCD, gained national media attention after videotaping administrators who claimed he could only distribute pre-approved fliers in specific areas of campus as part of their speech zone policy.

    As reported on Campus Reform, Van Tuinen subsequently filed a lawsuit with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), who came to an agreement with the school to end the policy. FIRE did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.

    The Modesto Bee reported the drafted policy no longer includes a reference to “free speech areas,” but contains the phrase “areas of the district designated as limited public forums.”

    This meeting will include a first reading of the draft and a final vote will take place at a later date.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @TimPDion





    Timothy Dionisopoulos

    Timothy Dionisopoulos

    Former Reporter
    Tim Dionisopoulos is a former reporter for Campus Reform and communications editor in the Leadership Institute's Campus Leadership Program. Tim joined Campus Reform in the summer of 2011, and his stories were cited or re-posted on the Daily Mail, the Drudge Report, Fox News, and other national media outlets. Tim graduated in 2011 from Providence College in Rhode Island where he was politically active on campus and in the community.
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