Politics

School Tries To Bully Student To Remove Trump Sign, His Response Has Them Apologizing ASAP

Officials at a public university tried to force a student to remove his “Trump/Pence 2016” sign from his dorm room window, but they renounced the fight later and acknowledging they have no legal basis for their power play.

 

After the election of 2016, a student from University of South Alabama David Meredith received an e-mail from the USA Community Director Dylan Lloyd that he was prohibited from displaying a “Trump-Pence” sign in his dormitory window. It’s official policy, noted Lloyd, that students cannot post “political signs” on school property.

 

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The University of South Alabama tried to get a student to remove his “Trump/Pence 2016” sign from his dorm room window, but the university later admitted they did not have the legal right to censor the student.

In an email sent to Meredith by Community Director Dylan S. Lloyd, the student was told “It is against university policy for political signs to be posted in windows, including residence halls.”

He was then given twenty four hours to remove the sign or face a penalty.

Meredith responded to the official’s email with “1st amendment.”

Lloyd told Meredith that the sign must be removed because the dorm was a federal building and that the university could not show preference for any candidate.

 

Meredith then countered that the dorm building was part of a state run university not a federal building as Lloyd contended.

Administrators then began a formal case against Meredith for his unwillingness to comply with the removal order.

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education stepped in on the student’s behalf. They allegedly sent a letter to the school explaining that Meredith was within his first amendment right to display the sign in his own residence. The letter read, in part:

“As you know, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to defending liberty, freedom of speech, due process, academic freedom, legal equality, and freedom of conscience on America’s college campuses.

We’re in receipt of your letter dated September 26, 2016, on behalf of the University of South Alabama (USA), addressing concerns raised in our April 12 and August 31, 2016 letters. These concerns, you’ll recall, centered on the university’s 501(c)(3) policy as applied to emails sent by registered student organizations. In response, USA provided an amended policy.

 

Unfortunately, that policy is now being applied to subject a student, David Meredith, to disciplinary proceedings because he refused to remove a “Trump/Pence 2016” sign from his dormitory window, which an administrator asserts is prohibited by USA’s 501(c)(3) policy. As a result, FIRE is again concerned about the threat to freedom of expression at USA, and calls upon the university to drop the charges against Meredith.”

University Communications Director Bob Lowry confirmed on Friday that the schools’ case against Meredith had been dropped.

The school also issued a public statement on the matter that read, in part:

“The University of South Alabama and its leadership are committed to the principles of free speech, and to the free and open exchange of ideas. The incident in question resulted from a misunderstanding on the part of one student member of the housing staff, who misinterpreted the University’s campaign signage policy. This was a mistake by one individual, and does not reflect the actual university policies and processes. The staff has been instructed as to the proper interpretation and application of university policy, and the student involved in this issue has been advised of the mistake and that the signage they displayed is permissible and can be reposted.”

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