Free speech zones give voice to students

By Felipe Rodriguez 

Free speech zones are an important resource that all campuses should acknowledge and keep open to everyone.

Free speech areas allow students to have a voice on campus and bring great benefits to community college students.

Restricting these areas is a violation of the first amendment and affect everybody that is involved on campus.

Recently, Pierce college student Kevin Shaw gained attention after his college campus security threatened to remove him from campus after he handed out copies of the United States Constitution.

Shaw was doing this in the designated free speech area that was made for students. After the incident, Shaw went to court and is currently in the process of filing a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Community College District.

Everyone should be guaranteed the basic right of free speech and it is especially important for students to come forward when their right is being stripped from them.

As stated in the constitution, freedom of speech is granted to every citizen here in America. The First Amendment states, β€œCongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Although it is very important that these spaces are kept free and open to students, there should be some boundaries as to what people are allowed to do and what kind of things should be brought to campus.

A good example of this topic is the recent protests at the University of California Berkeley which really demonstrated the potential violence that can result over people’s free speech.

Campuses need to recognize that free speech zones can create issues among students if they are not properly monitored.

One good start at resolving this issue should be monitor what is happening in these spaces and make sure students are not harassing or being harassed by others.

Creating a sign with rules at the area or even establishing a website with proper information can prevent these things from happening.

These rules can establish a proper order that will thrive with both students and staff. Freedom of speech is one of the best rights we all have as citizens here in America.

This right is something not too many people take the time to truly acknowledge because around the world there are countries that can literally kill you just for what you say.

Freedom of speech is what in fact makes our country different, what makes our government unique and our people hopeful. Students freedom of speech is also what keeps us hopeful, keeps our progression moving and our liberty.

Speech Zones should not be taboo, they should be practiced in all colleges and universities.

Completely banning free speech zones is unconstitutional, these areas are very important to community colleges and help students create great relationships that can potentially help even after graduating.

CN/STEVEN ADAMO

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