Video Shows Student And Officer Arguing Over Free Speech Rights - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

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>>

  • All Bets Off As AC's Revel Hotel Casino Shuts Down

    All Bets Off As AC's Revel Hotel Casino Shuts Down

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 6:41 AM EDT2014-09-02 10:41:14 GMT

    Atlantic City's Revel Hotel and Casino has officially closed its doors Tuesday morning, a little more than two years after opening and following months of financial struggles.

    Atlantic City's Revel Hotel and Casino has officially closed its doors Tuesday morning, a little more than two years after opening and following months of financial struggles.

  • 1 Person Killed in Bethel Township Accident

    1 Person Killed in Bethel Township Accident

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:03 PM EDT2014-09-02 02:03:33 GMT
    1 person was killed in an accident in Bethel Township, Delaware County on Monday evening.Initial reports indicate that a vehicle may have hit a tree and overturned. It happened on the 3300 block of Foulk Road around 8:30pm.Foulk Road was closed for several hours while police investigated the crash scene.Stay with Fox 29 News for updates.
    1 person was killed in an accident in Bethel Township, Delaware County on Monday evening.Initial reports indicate that a vehicle may have hit a tree and overturned. It happened on the 3300 block of Foulk Road around 8:30pm.Foulk Road was closed for several hours while police investigated the crash scene.Stay with Fox 29 News for updates.
  • Council Rock South Mourns The Loss Of Three Classmates

    Council Rock South Mourns The Loss Of Three Classmates

    Monday, September 1 2014 5:23 PM EDT2014-09-01 21:23:09 GMT
    Three boys from Council Rock South High School died over the weekend when their SUV overturned.
    Three boys from Council Rock South High School died over the weekend when their SUV overturned.
Powered by WorldNow

WTXF-TV
330 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2796

Phone: (215) 925-2929
Fax: (215) 982-5494

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