The University of Alabama has been caught on tape censoring students and blatantly disregarding the First Amendment. Claire Chretien, president of Bama Students for Life, was upset that the anti-abortion display her group had created was removed from the university library. However, that turned to outrage when she had found out that school officials removed it due to complaints from students and told her “you guys were lucky to get it up there as long as you did.”
Chretien secretly recorded her conversation with University Events Coordinator Donna Lake, who told her that “if we receive complaints about it, we have to take it down.” She also referred to the display, which contained images of aborted fetuses, as “offensive.” The Alliance Defending Freedom is now representing the student group in a lawsuit and demanding that the university apologize, as well as allow the display to be placed back up in the library.
“It’s chilling to watch a public university administrator casually and blatantly violate the First Amendment and censor a student viewpoint,” said Robert Shibley, Vice President of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. “Worse still, the administrator’s attitude strongly suggests that this sort of censorship is so routine at the University of Alabama that it’s barely even worth raising an eyebrow.”
Chretien also said the university policy was not enforced evenly because displays of full-frontal male nudity had been allowed in the library without issue. “Our group was very upset that the university decided to trample all of our First Amendment rights,” she said. “We don’t have the First Amendment so we can talk about the weather.”