A conservative scholar was not too long ago handed a authorized win in courtroom in opposition to Southern Illinois College Edwardsville (SIUE) after accusing some professors of discrimination.
In a press launch on Wednesday, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) introduced that attorneys related to the conservative group “will conduct a First Modification coaching session with three professors at Southern Illinois College Edwardsville as a part of the profitable settlement of a former artwork remedy graduate scholar’s lawsuit.”
ADF’s announcement comes simply over a yr after graduate scholar Maggie DeJong filed a lawsuit in opposition to SIUE claiming that some college officers violated her First Modification rights by issuing “no-contact” orders in opposition to her in February 2022, prohibiting her from speaking with fellow college students.
“Maggie DeJong filed swimsuit in opposition to the officers for violating her civil and constitutional rights as a result of she holds views that differed from lots of her fellow college students,” ADF’s press launch added. “As a part of the settlement, college officers additionally agreed to revise each their insurance policies and scholar handbook to make sure college students with various political, spiritual, and ideological views are welcome within the artwork remedy program. As well as, college officers paid $80,000.”
In its press launch, the ADF said that DeJong was attending the Artwork Remedy Program at SIUE simply previous to submitting the lawsuit. Whereas as a scholar, DeJong spoke and engaged with college students and different professors in this system, “however as a result of DeJong’s views—knowledgeable by her Christian religion and political stance—typically differed from these of different college students within the artwork remedy program, a number of of her fellow college students reported her speech to college officers.”
Along with the no-contact orders, some college students additionally reported DeJong for feedback she made about her personal private views, the ADF stated, which has been designated by the Southern Poverty Regulation Heart as a hate group for having anti-LGBTQ+ ideologies.
In an announcement, ADF authorized counsel Mathew Hoffmann advised Newsweek on Friday that “universities can not censor college students due to their spiritual or political opinions. However the College did simply that by issuing unconstitutional no-contact orders in opposition to Maggie. This settlement helps make sure that what occurred to Maggie is not going to occur to some other scholar. We’re hopeful that this free speech victory opens universities to what they need to be—marketplaces of concepts, not echo chambers for one ideology.”
Hoffmann’s assertion continued: “Alliance Defending Freedom will proceed to carry universities accountable, in order that they can not harass and intimidate college students due to their spiritual or political opinions.”
A spokesperson for SIUE directed Newsweek to an announcement on Friday that was not too long ago issued by Chancellor James T. Minor, which stated, “SIUE is unequivocally dedicated to defending First Modification rights and doesn’t have insurance policies that prohibit free speech nor help censorship. SIUE stays dedicated to free speech, in style or unpopular, offensive or affable, in an surroundings that embraces the change of various views on each facet of human society.”
Minor added that whereas First Modification rights on campus protects free speech amongst college students and staff, it doesn’t defend college students from sure behaviors that “creates a pervasively hostile surroundings for different college students.”
“We settle for that balancing these two deeply valued rules of free speech and a protected surroundings, in actual time, symbolize inherent problems for administering prudence…Defending free speech is just not solely pushed by our values, but in addition by our authorized obligations, whereas on the identical time guaranteeing a non-hostile surroundings,” Minor’s assertion stated.