FIRE Intervenes in Case of Professors Suspended at California's Southwestern College for Assembly Outside of the 'Free Speech Patio'
November 3, 2009
by Adam Kissel
FIRE has written a letter to the Superintendent/President of California's Southwestern College (SWC), Raj K. Chopra, regarding SWC's suspension of three faculty members who were with a group of students who strayed beyond SWC's "free speech area" in order to speak with Chopra after their scheduled protest of various SWC actions. The letter draws attention to the several violations of the speech, assembly, and due process rights of the professors, who were banned from campus and ordered not to use campus e-mail or other campus resources.
The letter also analyzes the unconstitutional provisions of SWC's speech policy. Free speech at SWC is restricted to a single "free speech patio" that occupies a very small percentage of the campus.
The controversy, which already has received national press coverage, has generated significant outrage on campus. One student even made the following T-shirt, which sold out almost instantly:
Stay tuned for further news about this outrage at Southwestern College.