Students Were Collecting Signatures for a Free Speech Petition – Then This Happened.

Students Were Collecting Signatures for a Free Speech Petition – Then This Happened.

Something ironic happened when some students at the College of DuPage were collecting signatures for a free speech petition. They were stopped by a police officer and told they needed a permit.

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Students collecting signatures for a free speech petition at an Illinois public college were threatened Friday with arrest if they did not cease their activities and obtain a permit for their activity on campus.

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Two students, accompanied by an advisor from conservative organization Turning Point USA, were handing out free copies of the U.S. Constitution and collecting signatures urging the College of DuPage to adopt less-restrictive free speech policies, college news website Campus Reform reported.

A campus police officer soon confronted the students — one proudly holding up an American flag — informing them that they needed to stop.

“You go to the Student Life office, and they give you a permit to do so,” the officer told them.

After the Turning Point USA representative referenced their right to free speech on a public university campus, the officer said the issue did not have to do with their First Amendment rights.

“It’s not free speech, ma’am,” the officer said. “Nobody’s stopping you from free speech, but you can’t solicit out here, and basically you are — you’re soliciting your opinions. Okay? And you need to go get a permit.”

When pressed on if they were violating a law, the officer referred the students to student life and threatened to arrest them.

“Why don’t you go talk to Student Life? But you can’t do it out here, otherwise I’m going to have to lock you up. I don’t want it to come to that. Like I said, I want you to go in to Student Life,” he said.

Of course, if the university is considered private property and a permit is required to participate in any soliciting, then the police officer is right — and the entire thing reeks of a stunt that will let these students cry martyr. Is the university right for having this policy? That’s an entirely different story.

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