Rebel News Banner Ad - Canada Day Store Promo

Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville gets served with a lawsuit over free speech rights infringement

In early 2022, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (SIUE) gave DeJong “no contact orders” and decided that her speech was neither welcomed nor appropriate. This immediately led to a lawsuit threat by the ADF through a letter.

Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville gets served with a lawsuit over free speech rights infringement
Remove Ads

According to the lawsuit, “in February 2022, University officials [...] issued three no-contact orders against Ms. DeJong prohibiting her from having “any contact” or even “indirect communication” with her fellow art therapy graduate students, “Student A.S.,” “Student T.P.,” and ‘Student S.W.’”

On May 31, 2022, the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed a lawsuit against the University of Illinois at Edwardsville (SIUE), alleging the school infringed on the rights to freedom of speech of a student by the name of Maggie DeJong.

In the lawsuit, the ADF claims the university “[bowed] to the cries of graduate school students claiming they were harmed and offended by Ms. DeJong’s speech,” and therefore “violat[ed] her civil and constitutional rights because she holds views that differ from many of her fellow students.”

DeJong is a graduate student studying art therapy. During her classes, she actively participates and gives her intake on various situations. Her intake, due to her more conservatives views, is normally different from other students, and this is the reason why the university tried to reportedly silence her.

DeJong’s lawyer told Campus Reform that the university’s actions threatened her academic career, saying “They discriminated against her speech. They threatened her future speech.”

But why did the situation get to the point that the school had to compel speech? And subsequently, why did a lawsuit have to be filed?

In early 2022, SIUE gave DeJong “no contact orders” and decided that her speech was neither welcomed nor appropriate.

This immediately led to the threat of a lawsuit by the ADF through a letter.

“To avoid legal action, the university must immediately rescind the no contact orders,” warned the letter. 

ADF stated that “Rather than accept and embrace diverse ideological perspectives, SIUE officials are determined to force their graduate students to think and speak exactly the same — or stay silent — and they will punish anyone who steps out of line.”

As the letter explains:

Maggie has always respectfully shared her religious or political views, which every student is entitled to do under the First Amendment. It is a sad day for civil dialogue and freedom of speech when universities can issue gag orders like those issued against Maggie for nothing more than expressing her beliefs—beliefs held by millions of Americans.

The letter also explained the fact that classes DeJong was enrolled in do not allow her to participate in their group chat.

Now, even though the university decided to rescind in March the no-contact orders, the ADF stated that her education had already been impacted.

Lawyers representing DeJong are seeking the following:

A. Award compensatory, nominal, and punitive damages for the violations of Plaintiff’s constitutional rights;

B. Enter judgment declaring that Defendants violated Plaintiff’s constitutional rights;

C. Enter judgment declaring that the no-contact orders were unconstitutional;

DeJong hopes that this lawsuit will empower students at SIUE to speak up.

 

Image source | Philip - stock.adobe.com

Remove Ads
Remove Ads

  • By Rebel News

PETITION: Stop Critical Race Theory

15,317 signatures
Goal: 20,000 Signatures

Add signature

Don't Get Censored

Big Tech is censoring us. Sign up so we can always stay in touch.

Remove Ads