A Wisconsin student sued her school on Tuesday after the administration labeled her a “disruptive student” for handing out Valentine’s Day cards reading “Jesus loves you.”
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) student Polly Olsen sued her school for what she termed an “unconstitutional” Public Assembly Policy, according to a lawsuit obtained by Campus Reform.
NWTC restricts what it deems as “disruptive” free expression and free speech, as protected by the First Amendment, to a tiny box on campus that makes up less than one percent of the campus. Olsen described the school’s “free speech zone” as “about the size of two buses next to each other,” highlighting the fact that no one “congregates there, they just walk through,” something she suggested prohibited her from having meaningful conversations with others.
Olsen said that her inspiration to hand out valentines came from her mother, who, before her passing, gave them out to provide hope to those who most needed it, when speaking with Campus Reform. The student said that the past few years have been hard, as her mom died and her brother broke his neck, while Olsen, herself, has been homeless.
“Since my mother’s passing, I have carried on the tradition in her memory,” the student said.
According to the lawsuit, a campus security officer confronted Olsen on February 14, 2018 while she was handing out the valentines, and told her that she was violating the school policy by “soliciting” and being a “disruptive student.”
Olsen was not selling anything, as the term “soliciting” implies. Instead, she was handing out heart-shaped valentines with phrases such as “Jesus loves you,” “you are special!” and “you have a purpose,” along with the relevant books and line numbers.
She said the security officer told her that she could only hand out the valentines in the “free speech area” on campus, which requires prior reservation and approval. NWTC’s “public assembly area,” also called the “free speech zone” must be “reserved between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Read the rest at: Jesus Loves You!