Student Barred From Handing out Constitution: School 'Scapegoated' Wrong People

Thursday, 26 Sep 2013 06:12 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Intrepid California junior college student Robert van Tuinen — thwarted from passing out copies of the U.S. Constitution on campus last Constitution Day — charged Thursday the school tried to "scapegoat" the wrong people.

Van Tuinen, who believed speech policies at Modesto Junior College limiting protests and expression were too restrictive, told "The Steve Malzberg Show" the school’s spokeswoman tried to shift the blame to a security guard and school administrator who backed him up.

"I don't want to see them scapegoated and I definitely don't want to see [an] outcry against them because they're just doing their jobs," he said. "The school is in the wrong and now they're trying to pass the buck."

Van Tuinen, who hopes to become a journalist, said the school’s speech codes require permission to leaflet in certain areas of campus. But, the school’s spokeswoman contradicted herself on that point in a Foundation for Individual Rights in Education article.

Ultimately, van Tuinen said, he hopes the speech codes will be abolished.

"I still want people to be aware that these speech codes are on one in six campuses, these unconstitutional free speech zones," he said. "It needs to stop everywhere and students everywhere need to rise up against these policies."

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