Video Shows Student And Officer Arguing Over Free Speech Rights - Mid-South News, Weather, Traffic and Sports | FOX13

Video Shows Student And Officer Arguing Over Free Speech Rights On Campus

Posted: Updated:

25-year-old student Robert Van Tuinen was passing out pocket-sized constitutions at Modesto Junior College in California to celebrate Constitution Day on September 17. However, he was quickly stopped by a police officer.

The confrontation was caught on camera. The police officer tells Robert that he can only pass out constitutions in a designated spot on campus, a free speech spot, and only if he obtains permission in advance from school security.

Robert proceeds to ask the officer if he thinks that is a violation of free speech and first amendment rights, to which the officer replies, "I'm sure it is…but I'm giving you a solution. I'm not trying to stop you, I'm just telling you there is a process you have to go through."

Robert eventually asks why there is a process, to which the officer responds that it's because he's a student at the college.

"But it's a public college!" Robert Responds.

The whole video of the confrontation is six minutes long, and more than 76,000 people have seen it on YouTube since it's uploading by FIRE on September 19th.

"Watching the video is a combination of depressing and nauseating, to see what rigamarole students have to go through just to express themselves on campus," said Robert Shibley, senior vice president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).

A school spokeswoman later talked to FOXNews.com and told them that students and the general public are permitted to pass out materials in areas on campus that are generally available to the public, as long as they do not disrupt the orderly operations of the college.

"In the case of the YouTube video, it does not appear that the student was disrupting the orderly operations of the college and therefore we are looking into the incident," Modesto Junior College Marketing and Public Relations officer Linda Hoile said.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • How-To Prevent Workout Injuries

    How-To Prevent Workout Injuries

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:12 PM EDT2014-04-24 01:12:40 GMT
    From gyms to bike trails, children to seniors, people are rushing out of hibernation and getting busy working out, but there may be a price.
    From gyms to bike trails, children to seniors, people are rushing out of hibernation and getting busy working out, but there may be a price.
  • Sexual Assault Reported At West Chester University

    Sexual Assault Reported At West Chester University

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:11 PM EDT2014-04-24 01:11:24 GMT
    According to the Department of Public Safety at West Chester University, they received a report of an indecent assault occurring at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday in the Frances Harvey Greene Library.
    According to the Department of Public Safety at West Chester University, they received a report of an indecent assault occurring at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday in the Frances Harvey Greene Library.
  • Getting Results: Woman Says Her Car Was Damaged By Plow Truck

    Getting Results: Woman Says Her Car Was Damaged By Plow Truck

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:05 PM EDT2014-04-24 01:05:44 GMT
    When a worker for a State Agency accidentally does you harm, you might expect to be compensated in some way.However, when an Emergency Proclamation is declared all bets are off/Sheila Bradley-Oben searched for photos that illustrate the scene when her son called her the night of February 13th.“He was like, 'Mom, I have something to tell you...your car has been damaged.' and I said, 'damaged?' what happened?” Oben explained.She says her 2002 Nissan Altima was covered in a mound of ice and snow...
    When a worker for a State Agency accidentally does you harm, you might expect to be compensated in some way.However, when an Emergency Proclamation is declared all bets are off/Sheila Bradley-Oben searched for photos that illustrate the scene when her son called her the night of February 13th.“He was like, 'Mom, I have something to tell you...your car has been damaged.' and I said, 'damaged?' what happened?” Oben explained.She says her 2002 Nissan Altima was covered in a mound of ice and snow...
Powered by WorldNow

WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
485 S. Highland St.
Memphis, TN 38111

Main Station: (901) 320-1313
Newsroom: (901) 320-1340

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices