LA Community College Settles Free Speech Lawsuit With Student
A Los Angeles Community College District student who claimed his First Amendment rights were violated has settled a lawsuit with the school.
In 2017, student Kevin Shaw filed a lawsuit alleging a school administrator of restricting his rights to a tiny “free speech zone” while he was recruiting members for Young Americans for Liberty and distributing distribute Spanish-language copies of the U.S. Constitution.
The college board of trustees on Wednesday agreed to enhance the student’s free speech rights at the District’s nine colleges and decided to open main areas of Los Angeles Pierce College to student expression. The colleges also paid $225,000 in attorneys’ fees.
“The purpose of these regulations is to foster free speech, assembly, and other expressive activities, while addressing the need of each Community College campus to make necessary arrangements to assure that such activities do not interfere with the College’s mission and operations or the rights of others,” state the new administrative regulations.
Shaw said though it was not without its difficulties, the experience has left him “optimistic about the guiding principles of my country.”
“Folks of all political dispositions rallied behind this case to declare in no uncertain terms: freedom of speech is essential to the educational process,” he added.
Shaw was represented in the court by attorneys from non-profit FIRE and Leader Berkon Colao & Silverstein LLP.