Rock Bottom Free Speech at Rock Valley College?
September 7, 2012
by Sean Clark
It sounds like hard times for free speech rights at Rock Valley College in Illinois, according to The Rock River Times.
The public college was recently sued by a student, with assistance from the Rutherford Institute, for allegedly violating his right to access bulletin boards on campus. According to the Times article, student Dominic Celletti was attempting to post flyers on bulletin boards around campus that encouraged students to read the Constitution. When he sought permission to do so, he was told he could post flyers on only two bulletin boards on the entire campus. (College policy limits postings by individual students to "designated ‘Free Speech' boards" only.)
While the college has the right to establish reasonable time, place, and manner regulations, limiting individual student postings to just two bulletin boards on campus may well be overly restrictive, particularly depending upon the size and location of those boards. And if the court finds for the student, it would hardly be the first time that a court ordered a university to open up more of its campus to free speech.
Either way, FIRE will keep you updated as this lawsuit progresses.