Suit Over ‘Free Speech Zone’ Settled

CHICAGO — A suburban Chicago community college has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by a student who alleged the school violated her free-speech rights by prohibiting her from handing out flyers that read, “Shut Down Capitalism.”

Ivette Salazar, who gets $30,000 from Joliet Junior College, claimed the college limited political expressions to a small campus “free speech zone.”

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.

The school has since updated its free speech and expression policy. It allows for expressive activity throughout the college.

The college says in a statement it has a long-standing commitment to free speech and its former policies “were consistent with the First Amendment.”

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