Policy Change at University after Scrubbing Pro-Life Chalk Messages

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Kutztown University, located in Pennsylvania, recently changed their policy after the Alliance Defending Freedom intervened on behalf of the university’s Students for Life chapter:

The students wrote the life-affirming messages onto various sidewalks and other uncovered walkways as part of National Pro-Life Chalk Day but later learned that university officials used a scrub brush to wash the messages away, saying they were “just following orders.” When students replaced the messages, officials scrubbed some of them away again.

“No public university can silence student speech simply because officials don’t like what the students are saying,” said ADF Legal Counsel Travis Barham. “The original chalking policy only permitted messages the university agrees with, but the revised policy eliminates that unconstitutional restriction and allows all views to be expressed. We commend Kutztown University officials for revising their policy to respect freedom of speech for all students.”

The university’s original “Posting and Chalking Guidelines” expressly regulated the “content” of student expression by prohibiting, among other things, messages that “advertise activities, events, or groups…incompatible with the University’s Statement on Non-Discrimination.” The revised policy no longer contains these unconstitutional limitations on the content or point of view expressed in chalked messages.