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On Tuesday, January 24, Education Project Manager Lennie Jarratt was interviewed on the Mike Seigel online radio show during the 10 pm to 11 pm hour, about Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek, Michigan had several students arrested for handing out pocket US Constitutions. This event took place in September during the Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) fight for free speech campaign. Jarratt explained how Kellogg is a public college and YAL members, who are Kellogg students, were outside the performing art center discussing freedom and handing out the pocket constitutions to other students who were willing to discuss freedom. The YAL members were confronted by security and told they did not have a permit and were not standing in the designated free speech area on campus. The students explained their right to free speech and were arrested for trespassing and “impeding access to education.” The students spent the night in the county jail before the charges were dropped by the school administration.
Jarratt and Seigel discussed the legalities of what Kellogg did in restricting free speech, the lawsuit the students were bringing against the school, other similar cases around the country, and the trends of where this is heading.
Jarratt provided a couple of potential solutions for states and colleges to reverse these authoritarian trends. At the state level, legislatures could stop this by implementing a system where if a college restricts free speech, state funds would no longer flow to that college. At the college level, the board of trustees could pass the University of Chicago free speech model where they affirm all speech is welcome on campus even if it offends some.
Seigel read several other statements from Heartland staff in the press release sent on Monday, January 23.