Student group files suit against A-State over free speech
JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A student group states Arkansas State University limited free speech on campus and now they're suing them.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Turning Point USA at Arkansas State University and Ashlyn Hoggard, claims A-State limits free speech to just 1% of their Jonesboro campus.
The defendants in the case are listed as the members of the board of trustees, the system president, the chancellor, the vice chancellor for student affairs, and the director of student development and leadership.
The suit, which was filed Wednesday, Dec. 13 in federal court, states A-State limits "expressive activity" to several small areas on campus. It states the university also requires students to get permission from the university before they engage in those designated free speech zones.
In October, Hoggard states she tried to speak with students about their First Amendment rights and get people to sign up with Turning Point USA so it would become a recognized student group.
Hoggard states campus security told her to stop because she wasn't in a designated speech zone on campus. The lawsuit states another employee of Turning Point USA, who was speaking with students with Hoggard, was issued a warning for criminal trespass, which banned her from the entire campus for an indefinite period of time.
Region 8 News reached out to ASU System General Counsel Brad Phelps, who responded,
"Arkansas State is committed to the First Amendment with policies and procedures that are designed to further that right and not restrict it. The allegations contained in this complaint that suggest otherwise have no merit." - Brad Phelps, ASU System General Council
The entire lawsuit can be viewed below.
Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.