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Students File Lawsuit Against California Community College for Allegedly Banning Conservative Group's Flyers

Clovis Community College in California is being sued by three students who allege that the college banned them from putting up flyers for their conservative group on campus.

The students, Alejandro Flores, Juliette Colunga, and Daniel Flores are members of the Young America’s Foundation, a conservative student group.

The lawsuit was filed by Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) on Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.

The complaint claims that the school violated the students’ First and Fourteenth Amendment rights when college President Lori Bennett and other school officials prohibited the students from putting up flyers with anti-abortion and anti-communism messaging during their Freedom Week initiative.

Some of the anti-abortion flyers that YAF says were denied.

“Clovis Community College’s policy and its application are illegal, and FIRE won’t let them get away with it,” said FIRE Attorney Gabe Walters. “Clovis administrators ‘gladly’ removed flyers they found offensive, and we’re gladly suing them to protect Alejandro, Juliette, and Daniel’s rights—and those of all students.”

YAF President Governor Scott Walker said that he hopes this lawsuit will put “schools nationwide on notice” that “conservatives will not be bullied into silence and submission.

“Free speech is under attack on campuses across the nation, and the recent, improper action by Clovis Community College administrators is another disappointing example,” Walker said in a statement. “The school’s leadership violated the First Amendment by stifling and censoring conservative students’ free speech rights. Young America’s Foundation is proud to partner with FIRE on this important lawsuit, putting schools nationwide on notice: conservatives will not be bullied into silence and submission.”

The Young America’s Foundation says that they are officially recognized as a student group by the school, but have “faced an uphill battle to organize on campus —including administrators scheming to remove the chapter’s approved flyers and limiting the distribution of additional YAF materials to an approved ‘free speech kiosk.'”

“Our goal with this lawsuit is to ensure that everyone has the right to free expression,” Flores said. “When administrators pick and choose what speech is acceptable, you no longer have free speech. We hope this lawsuit sends a clear message to all tyrannical administrators out there––YAF is on watch.”

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