When the Students for Life chapter at Miami University of Ohio sought approval to hold their annual “Cemetery of the Innocents” display, an official informed the group’s president that the display would only be permitted if the group placed signs around campus warning people about its content. The official justified this “trigger warning” requirement by saying the display might cause “emotional trauma” to those who might see it, and offered to discuss “less harmful” ways the group could express its pro-life views.
Following a federal lawsuit filed by ADF, Miami University of Ohio agreed to a settlement. They agreed to no longer require the warning sign, a policy that also created a complex, burdensome permit system for speech activities. The university agreed to revise a second policy used to justify the warning signs so that other student groups will not face similar mistreatment. And it agreed to revise a third policy so officials cannot stifle speech simply because it could “cause alarm, annoyance, or nuisance.” The university has also agreed to pay Students for Life’s damages and attorneys’ fees.
Institution: Miami University of Ohio, Hamilton
Location: Hamilton, OH
Topic: Speech Code