Campus Free Speech

Brickbat: You Can't Say That on Campus


Officials at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville have agreed to pay $80,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by Maggie DeJong, a graduate art therapy student, claiming the university violated her First Amendment rights. The school ordered DeJong to have no contact, even "indirect communication," with three students who complained that statements she posted on social media or made in classroom and informal discussions defending conservative or Christian positions were "harassment" or "discrimination." This included retweeting someone commenting on the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol who said "We cannot destroy this country like BLM riots!" The university also agreed that professors in the art therapy program would undergo First Amendment training and to revise the student handbook to reflect that students with varying religious and political views are welcome in the program.