January 13, 2021

Students for Life Wins Free Speech Lawsuit Against Oregon Community College

screenshot from Chemeketa Community College YouTube video
To end a federal lawsuit filed by a Students for Life chapter against Chemeketa Community College in Oregon, the college has agreed to revise its free speech policies.

On May 5, 2020, attorneys from Alliance Defending Freedom filed the lawsuit against Chemeketa Community College on behalf of students Marcos Sanchez and Emma Howell, co-presidents of the school's Students for Life chapter. Due to the school's "speech zone" policy, which restricted controversial student speech to certain areas on campus and required students to obtain permission from the college to use their voices, the pro-life organization was prevented from pursuing its goals.

Now, as part of a settlement, the college has agreed to end these speech-restricting policies and paid $25,000 in attorneys' fees.

“Across the nation, we are seeing incredible opposition to the pro-life speech of our student leaders and volunteers as they speak for the defenseless and educate their fellow students on abortion,” said Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins. “But the law and the Constitution are clear on the matter: Public schools cannot silence pro-life groups or force them to self-censor. We are thankful that Chemeketa Community College clarified that Students for Life—and all students—can participate in the open exchange of ideas and ensure that the entire college community is a ‘free speech zone’ for pro-life students and their peers.”

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