by Steven Ertelt
February 26, 2008
Visalia, CA (LifeNews.com) — Another California college is earning criticism from the pro-life community after limiting the free speech rights of pro-life advocates wanting to share the truth about abortion with students. After Cypress College had pro-life advocates arrested, College of the Sequoias is getting heat for making pro-life advocates cover up their signs.
Members of Tulare-Kings Right to Life organized a demonstration at the College of the Sequoias on Monday, but campus officials told them to turn their posters away from students because some of them showed victims of abortion.
Had they not complied with the requests, university authorities threatened to arrest the pro-life advocates.
However, according to a Visalia Times Delta news report, the pro-life people contacted the college’s legal advisors and were allowed to continue their activities unimpeded.
"A college campus is a place of education and a free exchange of ideas," TKRTL member Michael Seaward told the newspaper. "And [they were] trying to shut that down."
Seaward said anyone wanting to view the pictures of victims of abortion or the comparison between abortion and other examples of genocide from across the world, would have had to enter a sealed-off area.
He told the paper that Dean of Student Services Don Mast and College of the Sequoias president Bill Scroggins were the main officials urging the limits on their free speech.
This is the fourth year the group has taken the pro-life message to the college but the first time they have encountered such resistance from officials.
Scroggins told the newspaper that some students have complained and those complaints led to the requests to hide the pro-life posters from public view.
The problems at the college come on the heels of complaints about officials at Cypress College.
That educational institution was accused of squelching the free speech of a pro-life group for the third time. Survivors, a pro-life group for young adults, told LifeNews.com college officials banished its members to "free speech" zones hidden from public view.
When they arrived on campus, members of Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust quietly held signs, distributed literature and dialogued with students about abortion.
However, because they refused to be confined to an area far away from most students, they were arrested for failing to leave private property supposedly not open to the general public.
ACTION: Contact College of the Sequoias and urge officials to allow pro-life groups to openly share the pro-life perspective. Write to: 915 S. Mooney Blvd., Visalia, CA. 93277, or call President Bill Scroggins at (559) 730-3731, fax (559) 730-4869, or email [email protected]