Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

March 20, 2014

Va Community College System faces free speech suit


Associated Press

HAMPTON, Va. — The Virginia Community College System is being sued by a student who alleges that its campus demonstrations policy is unconstitutional.

Thomas Nelson Community College student Christian Parks is seeking an injunction to invalidate the policy.

Parks’ federal lawsuit says the Yorktown resident is an evangelical Christian. The lawsuit says campus police officers ordered him last fall to stop preaching in a central courtyard on the Hampton school’s campus.

The policy limits demonstrations to recognized college organizations. Events must be contained within preset boundaries.

The lawsuit argues that the policy infringes on Parks’ free speech and religious expression.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that the lawsuit was filed last week in U.S. District Court. A spokesman for the college system, Jeffrey Krause, tells the newspaper that he can’t comment on pending litigation.