Califorinia Student Stopped From Distributing Constitutions On Constitution Day

Published on September 20, 2013

A police officer at Modesto Junior College in California told a patriotic  libertarian student that it was against college rules for him to hand out copies  of the U.S. Constitution on campus.

Ironically, this flagrant violation of the student’s Constitutional rights  took place on September 17th: Constitution Day.

The exchange between student Robert Van Tuinen and a campus police officer  was captured on video. Tuinen told the officer  that he wished to start a Young Americans for Liberty chapter on campus, and  hoped that passing out copies of the Constitution would generate interest in  that. The officer, however, maintained that Van Tuinen was not allowed to  distribute flyers without college authorization.

“Anytime anything is being passed out it has to be… you have to go through  the Student Development office,” said the officer.

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The irony of being told to stop distributing copies of the Constitution was  not lost on Van Tuinen.

“Do you know what this is?” he responded. “Why are their rules tied to my  free speech?”

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the right of people to  exercise free speech and peaceably assemble in public places.

Nevertheless, the officer brought Van Tuinen to the Student Development  office, where administrator Christine Serrano told him that he could only hand  out flyers while inside a “free speech zone” on campus.

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