CHRISTIANITY DAILY

Christian Student Files Lawsuit Challenging Georgia School Over Right to Free Speech

Georgia Gwinnett College
(Photo : Brandon Joseph/Flickr/CC) A Christian student filed a lawsuit against Georgia Gwinnett College to challenge the school's restrictions on free speech.

A Christian student is suing a Georgia college for allegedly keeping him from exercising his right to free speech after the school censored his evangelistic actions as "disorderly conduct."

Chike Uzuegbunam filed the lawsuit earlier this month challenging Georgia Gwinnett College officials at a US District Court in the state.

In July, Uzuegbunam wanted to distribute religious pamphlets outside the library in the campus, but was told to stop since the location was not among the college's free-speech zones. Also, he lacked a permit to hand out religious literature which needs to be reviewed by the administration.

The school rules also requires students to request the use of the "free speech area" which occupies 0.0015% of the campus space, three days ahead of proposed activities.

"To use these speech zones, students must submit a 'free speech area request' form three days in advance and submit any publicity materials and literature they want to distribute to administrators for review," reads the 76-page lawsuit filed with the help of Alliance Defending Freedom.

The following month, he complied with all the regulations and distributed fliers from a small patio area, which is one of the two permitted zones. However, the campus police stopped him after receiving "some calls from people complaining."

"The First Amendment guarantees every student's freedom of speech and religion. Every public school -- and especially a state college that is supposed to be the 'marketplace of ideas' -- has the duty to protect and promote those freedoms," said ADF Legal Counsel Travis Barham.

"Students don't check their constitutionally protected free speech at the campus gate. While touting commitments to 'diversity' and 'open communications,' Georgia Gwinnett College confines the speech of students to two ridiculously small speech zones and then censors the speech that occurs in those areas," he continued.

Uzuegbunam is seeking an end to restrictions on free speech, and "nominal damages" from the school.

"Free speech on campus should be a no-brainer," Barham told The Blaze. "It could be a religious or non-religious topic. It could be political expression. But in this day and age, anything could cause someone to get upset."

Tags Georgia Gwinnett College, Alliance Defending Freedom, Free Speech, religious freedom

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