Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) has been ordered to pay a Christian scholar $80,000 for silencing her conservative views as a part of a lawsuit settlement. Additionally, three professors should bear First Amendment coaching because of the lawsuit introduced by Alliance Defending Freedom.
In her lawsuit, the coed claimed that SIUE had censored her speech and discriminated in opposition to her after different college students complained about her conservative and pro-life social media posts, in accordance to a report by Fox News.
Last 12 months, SIUE despatched three “no-contact orders” to conservative scholar Maggie DeJong that prevented her from having direct or oblique communication with three college students who complained about her political beliefs, the report added.
The settlement — received by the conservative Christian authorized advocacy group, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) — mandates that three SIUE professors take free speech-related coaching, and that faculty officers pay $80,000 to DeJong.
The settlement additionally reportedly calls for that SIUE officers revise their scholar handbook and insurance policies to “ensure students with varying political, religious and ideological views are welcome in the art therapy program.”
DeJong beforehand informed Fox & Friends First that she had regularly participated in school discussions on “contentious” matters, resembling race relations, faith, the Chinese coronavirus, and censorship.
But earlier than ending up along with her three-year graduate program, the conservative scholar acquired the no-contact order after her classmates had taken offense to her social media posts concerning abortion and defunding the police.
ADF Senior Counsel Tyson Langhoffer informed Fox News that DeJong had offended her classmates when she defended Kyle Rittenhouse and denounced essential race concept, which led to the college prohibiting her from totally collaborating in school discussions.
The authorized group added that the college has requested DeJong’s friends to report her for “harmful rhetoric” and issued the orders with out first permitting the conservative scholar to defend herself.
A SIUE spokesperson directed Fox News to a press release from Chancellor James T. Minor, who insisted that the college is “unequivocally committed to protecting First Amendment rights and does not have policies that restrict free speech nor support censorship.”
“For decades, universities have embraced the challenge of vigorously protecting free speech while at the same time creating a safe learning environment for the expression of diverse views. Protecting these two principles can create tensions,” Minor stated.
ADF Legal Counsel Mathew Hoffmann stated in a press release on Thursday that “Public universities can’t punish students for expressing their political and religious viewpoints.”
“Maggie, like every other student, is protected under the First Amendment to respectfully share her personal beliefs, and university officials were wrong to issue gag orders and silence her speech,” Hoffmann affirmed.