Bunker Hill Community College Retreats After Banning Veteran Who Handed out Constitution on Campus

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Bunker Hill Community College has retracted a policy that prohibited a Navy veteran from handing out copies of the Constitution on campus.

Navy veteran Jeff Lyons was prevented from handing out copies of the Constitution on the Bunker Hill Community College campus. Now, the public college has retracted the policy.

Today, Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) confirms that, thanks to the efforts of YAL students and attorneys from Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), Bunker Hill Community College has eliminated its unconstitutional restrictions on free speech that prevented navy veteran Jeff Lyons from passing out copies of the U.S. Constitution. Additionally, the Massachusetts Community College System, which includes Bunker Hill, has agreed to review similar problematic policies at 6 of its other campuses.

In a news release, the Young Americans for Liberty announced that the college acknowledged that individuals are free to hand out copies of the Constitution on their campus.

Earlier this year, Lyons was told to leave campus after he started handing out Constitutions to students and faculty passing by on campus.

“A college campus should be a marketplace of ideas where students can peacefully express their views without fear of punishment,” ADF Legal Counsel Caleb Dalton said in a statement. “We commend Bunker Hill for adopting policy changes that protect free speech. These changes serve as a model to guide other schools, including other schools within the Massachusetts Community College System.”

“Students at a public college shouldn’t have to ask for a government permission slip to exercise their most basic First Amendment freedoms,” FIRE Director of Litigation Marieke Tuthill Beck-Coon said in a statement. “That’s why we’re pleased that Bunker Hill has acted to respect the First Amendment by changing the speech policy and allowing students to hand out copies of the Constitution freely.”