A Christian activist is now suing Northeast Wisconsin Technical College after it restricted her freedom to hand out Jesus-themed Valentine’s Day cards on campus.
Polly Olsen has taken her fight against Northeast Wisconsin Technical College to the court system. Since 2014, Olsen has been fighting to end a “free speech zone” policy that has shut down her efforts to spread some positivity on Valentine’s Day each year.
A recently released video shows Olsen being stopped by school officials in the middle of her Valentine’s Day card distribution. In the video, Olsen politely walks around a campus building handing out her cards. Eventually, she is confronted by a group of officials who ask her to leave campus.
“I have been trying since Feb. 14th 2014 to have this policy changed,” Olsen said in a comment. “At that time, I was told by school officials that the policy would be changed and they would look into the staff being educated on students’ constitutional rights. They agreed that I would be allowed to continue to hand out my valentines … I have spent 5 years now, trying to get this policy changed.”
Now, Olsen’s battle has reached the court system. According to a report from The College Fix, the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty filed a summary judgement brief, which asks the judge to decide himself that the school’s speech policy is unconstitutional.
“Now that NWTC has forced this freedom of speech issue into the court system, I not only want the policy to be changed, but I want a judgement by the court,” Olsen added. “So that, this case can be used by others to help preserve the rights of freedom of speech and religion for all students and American people.”
In 2018, the college said that their speech policy does not specifically target Olsen for her religion. “NWTC recognizes the First Amendment rights of all individuals, including freedom of speech, freedom of expression and public assembly. NWTC also recognizes its responsibility to provide a secure learning environment that allows individuals to express their views in ways that do not disrupt the operation of the College (e.g., picketing or mass distribution of materials),” the university said in a statement.
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