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Illinois college sued over ‘free speech zone’

January 12, 2018

CHICAGO (AP) — A suburban Chicago college student is suing her school for allegedly violating her free-speech rights by prohibiting her from handing out flyers from a socialist group that read, “Shut Down Capitalism.”

Lawyers filed a lawsuit in Chicago federal court Thursday on behalf Ivette Salazar against Joliet Junior College.

It says the public community college violated Salazar’s rights by limiting political expressions to a small campus “free speech zone.” School policy includes requirements to get prior approval of flyers, and other restrictions.

Salazar saw other students distributing flyers outside the zone Nov. 28 advocating capitalism with a poster reading, “Socialism Sucks.” When she began distributing her flyers, campus police allegedly stopped her and said, “You have freedom of speech but only if we approve it.”

A message seeking comment from school officials wasn’t returned.

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