By Brenna Lewis, SFLA Staff Writer
On April 10th, 2018, pro-life students at Fresno State University in California caught a vandal on camera tearing down their group’s flyers on campus. The content of the flyers opposed SB-320, legislation in California that would mandate abortion drugs such as RU-486 to be freely distributed through campus health centers.
While the behavior captured by the video is crummy, it’s become far from unexpected. Pro-life groups across the country are routinely harassed in similar fashions. But the real kicker here? This violation of free speech took place three months ago, the perpetrator was caught on camera, and the Fresno State Police Department conducted an investigation of the incident – yet the school still won’t release any information about what happened to the vandal.
American college campuses are supposed to be a safe haven for the free exchange of ideas. So why would Fresno State cover up the outcome of this crime? Has it become acceptable for school administrations to take sides and go easy on offenders with whom they happen to agree?
Anna Arend, Northern CA Regional Coordinator, stated, “This is not the first time that Fresno State Students for Life has been harassed on campus. The students’ free speech rights have been violated more than once and they deserve the university’s attention and protection. It is unacceptable that another violation of their rights has occurred and that the administration has identified the perpetrator but has done nothing to hold him accountable.”
Fresno State apparently plans to sweep the incident under the rug and hope that FSU Students for Life and the rest of the pro-life community will simply forget about the wrongdoing. Our public educational institutions have an obligation to protect the free speech of their students, whether they agree with the message or not.
The students, with the help of SFLA and Alliance Defending Freedom, have submitted a letter to the school demanding that the information be released. Despite the fact that FSU has missed their disclosure deadline, we remain hopeful that they will respect the rights of their students on this matter.
Has your student group been the victims of a similar crime? Contact your SFLA Regional Coordinator for help.