Virginia Tech sued for allegedly violating college students’ first modification rights with insurance policies | Information

Virginia Tech has received lawsuits from the nonprofit Speech First alleging the university has placed excessive restrictions on the language and expression of students.

Speech First is a not-for-profit organization that combats restrictions on freedom of expression and other civil rights on college campuses. They aim to fight arbitrary censorship that goes against the first amendment. Speech First claims that students fear the repercussions for anything they say or do and lose a college experience.

Speech First Inc.’s lawsuit filed Thursday against Timothy Sands targets Virginia Tech’s policies regarding harassment, discrimination, and computer use. Speech First claims these guidelines prohibit the use of free speech and students fear disciplinary implications. The lawsuit also seeks to ban the university from distributing literature or petitions without prior authorization.

“The Virginia Tech administrators silenced the students and refrained from making any comments or views that might be considered controversial or offensive,” Nicole Neily, president of the speech, told Fox News. “These efforts to restrict (and even punish) language based on content contradict the commitment to academic discourse, which is said to be paramount in higher education.”

Speech First believes this lawsuit reflects concerns from students at Virginia Tech and across the country who have been harassed by university administrators.

Speech First previously filed a lawsuit against the University of Illinois in which Speech First felt that its First Amendment rights had been violated. This event made it clear that the Bias Incident Protocol (BIP) does not have the authority to impose disciplinary measures on a student.

The lawsuits include bias incidents, such as inappropriate jokes, and words and actions that contravene the principles of the Virginia Tech community.

One reported incident involves a student eavesdropping on male students belittling women who participated in a snowball fight. Another involved a student telling a joke about Caitlyn Jenner’s dead name during a lecture.

On the website of the dean of students, the university summarizes the incidents of bias as an expression against a person or group based on age, skin color, disability, gender (including pregnancy), gender identity, gender expression, genetic information and national Origin of a person or group together, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status or any other legally protected basis.

Virginia Tech’s website states, “We adopt and practice the following principles as fundamental to our ongoing efforts to improve access and inclusion, and to create a community that encourages learning and growth for all of its members.”

All of the defendants ‘and plaintiffs’ records have been filed and signed by a licensed attorney and will be presented in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia, Roanoke, Virginia. The date of the trial has not yet been set.

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