Troy University: Speech Code Litigation
FIRE targeted the fifth university in its highly successful Speech Code Litigation project. FIRE's continued effort to systematically demolish unconstitutional campus speech restrictions has already tasted victory at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, Texas Tech University, the State University of New York at Brockport, and California's Citrus College. Despite its obligation as a public university to uphold the First Amendment, and its explicit assurance to students that it will respect the rights of students to "[f]ree inquiry, expression, and assembly," Troy's speech code is extraordinarily overbroad and vague. Troy's handbook states, for instance, that a student can face punishment up to and including expulsion for "indecent... expression"; "[a]ny activity that creates a mentally abusive, oppressive, or harmful situation for another;" and for "[u]se of the mail, telephone, computer and electronic messages, or any other means of communication to insult...or demean another." The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, also charges Troy with breach of contract, unlawful conditions placed on the receipt of state benefits, and denial of due process and of equal protection of the law.
- "Alabama’s Troy University Faces Lawsuit for Unconstitutional Speech Code, Censorship," October 31, 2005: Today, FIRE targeted the fifth university in its highly successful Speech Code Litigation project. FIRE Legal Network attorneys filed a federal lawsuit against Troy University in Alabama for violating the First Amendment by maintaining a restrictive speech code and censoring student artwork. FIRE's continued effort to systematically demolish unconstitutional campus speech restrictions has already tasted victory at public universities in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, and California.
- "Legal Complaint Against Troy University, October 31, 2005," October 31, 2005
- "FIRE Lawsuit Charges Alabama School With Stifling Free Speech,"
by Jim Brown, Agape Press, November 7, 2005
- "Student sues after university censors nude photographs,"
by Kim Peterson, Student Press Law Center, November 1, 2005
- "Troy art student sues after nude photos banned,"
by Thomas Spencer, The Birmingham News, November 1, 2005
- "Troy U. Sued Over Speech Code and Art Censorship,"
by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, November 1, 2005
- "Troy University sued for alleged First Amendment violation,"
by Ken Rogers, The Messenger (Troy, Ala.), November 1, 2005
- "Student sues Troy University over removal of nude photographs,"
Associated Press State and Local Wire, October 31, 2005