A Georgia college has banned a student after he preached the gospel in a designated “free speech zone.”
Although student Chike Uzuegbunam preached the gospel in a zone that was supposed to be dedicated to free speech, Georgia Gwinnett College officials apparently do not consider the gospel as included in free speech.
Uzuegbunam was removed from campus, according to a report from God TV, and his discussion of faith was labeled as “fighting words” which “incite hostility.”
Although Georgia Gwinnett College bills itself as a place of diversity and openness, that openness apparently does not extend to discussions of Christian faith. The college reportedly has students from 91 nations around the world, but free speech on the campus is confined to two small “free speech zones” which are only available 18 hours a week.
Uzuegbunam is filing a lawsuit against the school with the support of Alliance Defending Freedom. Uzuegbunam and his legal counsel argue that his free speech rights were violated. They allege that the college’s restriction of free speech ends up silencing students.
The First Amendment guarantees the right to free speech, although the Supreme Court has made exceptions when the free speech in question has been deemed likely to “incite an immediate breach of peace,” or commonly understood as “personally abusive” and “likely to provoke a violent reaction.”
Uzuegbunam’s exercise of free speech, however, did not involve any display of violence or breach of peace.
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: May 5, 2017
Veronica Neffinger wrote her first poem at age seven and went on to study English in college, focusing on 18th century literature. When she is not listening to baseball games, enjoying the outdoors, or reading, she can be found mostly in Richmond, VA writing primarily about nature, nostalgia, faith, family, and Jane Austen.