Federal judge tosses out NWTC free speech restrictions

Posted at 3:15 p.m. on September 14, 2019

The Brillion News

GREEN BAY – Federal District Court Judge William Griesbach on Friday declared the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College’s “Public Assembly Policy” and its restrictions on free speech in public by students to be unconstitutional.

He ordered NWTC to stop enforcing its “Freedom of Speech, Expression and Public Assembly Policy” as it did on Valentine’s Day of 2018.

Student Polly Olsen was passing out hand-written religious-themed Valentine cards to people when she was “reported” to security by someone, and was taken to a security room where she was told she was soliciting on campus outside of the designated “free speech” zone.

Judge Griesbach ruled that action was unconstitutional, and a denial of Olsen’s First Amendment rights. The public interest law firm, Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, took up Olsen’s case and filed the federal lawsuit. The White House also got wind of the case, and Olsen was invited to the White House as President Donald Trump signed an executive order reinforcing campus free speech.

This is a brief version of a complete story that will appear in the September 19 print edition of THE BRILLION NEWS, which will incorporate substantive quotes from Judge Griesbach’s order.

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