In her most recent piece for Campus Reform, SLF Attorney and 1A Project Director Cece O’Leary describes how colleges may be still be hiding behind COVID policies to silence students, and she reminds students that now, more than ever, they must exercise their First Amendment rights.
O’Leary begins with a review of all that has happened since the start of COVID nearly two years ago. She then writes directly to students:
If your college is like most, your administrators are hoping that after the last few years you’ve had, you don’t care so much about speaking out.
They are hoping you won’t notice that they still have a COVID reporting form available online, where other students can report you for violating campus health measures and shut down your speech activities at the same time.
Colleges are hoping you won’t notice that they still do not let some outside speakers come to campus. Or that you will not question that you can only gather in small groups where social distancing is possible.
They are hoping you won’t complain when they tack on extra tabling fees. Or that you will agree to stop distributing flyers on campus because they weren’t approved in advance.
Or that you won’t seek clarification, push back, and assert your First Amendment rights when a policy just doesn’t seem reasonable.
But you know better than that.
O’Leary urges college students to remain vigilant and carefully guard their freedom of speech by speaking out and educating themselves on the First Amendment. It is in moments like these that constitutional rights and freedoms are most vulnerable.
Read the full article at CampusReform.org.