Sinclair Community College: Unconstitutional Ban on Distributing Literature After Class
Ethel Borel-Donohue, a student in SCC's Paralegal Program, peacefully distributed fliers regarding abortion, birth control, and breast cancer, after a class session. Days later, Borel-Donohue was summoned to the office of Judge Michael Brigner, Paralegal Program Chair. In a meeting in November 2010, Brigner reportedly stated that another student had complained to him about being "offended by the material in the brochures." Brigner then told her she "had no right to hand out any materials to students in the classroom." FIRE wrote to SCC President Steven Lee Jackson on March 16 in defense of Borel-Donohue's free speech rights. FIRE also pointed out SCC's unconstitutional speech code banning the distribution of literature throughout much of the SCC campus. Ohio Assistant Attorney General Lauren M. Ross initially defended SCC's actions while pointing to an additional, conflicting policy also abridging the First Amendment right to distribute literature on campus. After FIRE wrote SCC Board of Trustees Chair Lawrence Porter, however, Porter replied to FIRE on May 10, 2011, stating that SCC was reviewing its speech policies after all. FIRE is awaiting the results of SCC's review of its unconstitutional bans on distribution of literature.
- "Response to FIRE from Board of Trustees Chair Lawrence Porter, May 10, 2011," May 10, 2011
- "FIRE Letter to Sinclair Community College Board of Trustees Chair Lawrence Porter, May 2, 2011," May 2, 2011
- "Ohio College Prohibits Student from Peacefully Distributing Literature on Abortion, Birth Control," April 6, 2011: Sinclair Community College has banned a student from distributing literature about abortion, birth control, and breast cancer to her classmates after class. The college also bans all distribution of literature on vast areas of campus. Student Ethel Borel-Donohue, who never disrupted class with her literature, came to FIRE for help.
- "FIRE Second Letter to Sinclair Community College President Steven Lee Johnson, March 23, 2011," March 23, 2011
- "Ohio Assistant Attorney General and General Counsel Lauren M. Ross Response to FIRE, March 16, 2011," March 16, 2011
- "FIRE Letter to Sinclair Community College President Steven Lee Johnson, February 22, 2011," February 22, 2011
- "Judge Brigner Email to Ethel F. Borel-Donohue, January 4, 2011," January 4, 2011
- "Sinclair Community College Campus Access Policy," January 1, 2011
- "Ethel F. Borel-Donohue Lettter to Judge Brigner, December 29, 2010," December 29, 2010
- "The Pill and Breast Cancer," October 19, 2010
- "Sinclair Community College Campus Map," January 1, 2010
- "Sinclair Community College Student Judicial Affairs Code of Conduct Handbook 2009-2010," January 1, 2009
- "Ohio College to Review Ban on Peaceful Distribution of Literature on Campus," by Adam Kissel, May 23, 2011: Sinclair Community College (SCC) has announced that it will review an unconstitutional policy that prohibits all distribution of literature on campus by individual students. SCC banned a student from distributing literature about abortion, birth control, and breast cancer to her classmates after class. After FIRE intervened, the Chair of SCC's Board of Trustees stated that this policy and a second, conflicting policy would be reviewed.
- "FIRE Keeps the Heat on Sinclair Community College," by Adam Kissel, May 6, 2011
- "Robert in 'Pajamas Media' on Pamphleteering and Political Correctness," by Jordan Fischetti, April 25, 2011
- "This Week in the News: Whistleblowing UCLA Professor Still Making Headlines and Hamilton College Wins Muzzle Award," by Jordan Fischetti, April 15, 2011
- "This Week in the News: Hearings Begin for Whistleblowing UCLA Professor," by Jordan Fischetti, April 8, 2011
- "Free Speech Under Assault at Sinclair Community College,"
by Arnold Ahlert, FrontPage Magazine, May 10, 2011
- "Group: Ohio college's policy violates free speech,"
by Lisa Cornwell, Associated Press, April 6, 2011