Student Files Free Speech Lawsuit Against OU

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An Ohio University student is challenging the university’s speech code in a lawsuit filed in federal court with the help of a national nonprofit group that works to promote free speech on college campuses.

Isaac Smith, 22, a member of Students Defending Students (SDS), filed the suit with the assistance of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) after the university ordered group members not to wear T-shirts reading, “We get you off for free." SDS defends students accused of campus disciplinary offenses for free.

According to reports by The Post, the university claims the shirts violate the Student Code of Conduct which forbids “any act that degrades, demeans or disgraces” another student.

The Columbus Dispatch reports the lawsuit stems from a conflict at the student involvement fair in August. At that time the group was told not to wear the shirts again because they were unprofessional.  The group was later told in March the shirts objectified women and were sexually inappropriate.

The lawsuit is one of four filed against universities across the country as part of the groups’ new Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project.

Click below for the full text of the lawsuit.