Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Yes, there’s a major free speech problem on our campuses

At 16 years old, Norvilia Etienne’s mother told her a story that changed her life forever, setting her course to become a courageous, compassionate champion for the vulnerable.

Not long after, in 2016, Norvilia would experience a second rude awakening, this time at the hands of so-called “tolerant” administrators at Queens College in New York City.

As a teenager herself, Norvilia’s mother was already struggling alone to care for a young son when she found out she was pregnant a second time. With her boyfriend making it clear he’d take no responsibility for their child, Norvilia’s mother felt deeply pressured to resort to abortion as her only escape.

If not for her grandmother’s faith-fueled encouragement, it’s likely Norvilia never would have drawn a breath.

Instead, she gave birth to Norvilia and doubled down to make ends meet.

As you can imagine, Norvilia was stunned to hear for the first time, as a teenager, just how close she came to becoming another statistic prior to her birth. In fact, she was downright angry. But that anger soon turned to a joy that fuels Norvilia’s passion to help young women and girls facing the very same pressures, which weighed heavy on her own mother’s heart just a few years ago.

In that youthful vigor, Norvilia arrived on campus as a freshman at Queens College in New York City—long dubbed “The Abortion Capital of America”—ready to offer hope and help to her classmates. In short order, she began setting up an on-campus pro-life club affiliated with Students for Life of America.

And that’s where the trouble started for Norvilia. Despite checking all the boxes to become an officially recognized club, Norvilia’s application was slow-walked to its inevitable rejection, all because it supported a view—Norvilia’s—that had been silently disqualified ahead of time.

Neither Norvilia nor any of our society’s future legislators, judges, and voters should have to ask for a permission slip to speak on campus. The First Amendment is their permission slip.

And thankfully, this is what our courts continue to recognize. Since we launched our Center for Academic Freedom a decade ago, we’ve secured nearly 400 victories for free speech on America’s college and university campuses—including Queens College, which finally backed off its restrictive policy after almost two years of fighting.



Anonymous said...

Politically Correct Liberals, or Progressives as they like to call themselves, are vicious !

Anonymous said...

This reads a bit like an ad.
However, its a worthy issue for this site, and sadly all too similar to other stories on here.