Beth Sheeran - Freedom of Speech on College Campuses
Beth Sheeran was a nursing student at Spokane Falls Community College in 2008 when she spearheaded an effort by a Christian club on campus to sponsor a pro-life event. She had almost completed the extensive preparations when she learned the college was shutting down the event. Her determination to know why brought her face-to-face with the sometimes absurd objections of the faculty and administrators (“Washington is a pro-choice state, and we can’t use school grounds for a pro-life display.”) and their very real determination to silence free speech on campus. She and other club members were threatened with expulsion, should they so much as hand out flyers with pro-life themes.
Realizing that “the abuse of authority would also shut doors to the Gospel,” and worried that fear for their education might keep many Christian students from speaking the truth, Beth reluctantly decided to file a suit against the school district whose policies were being enforced at Spokane Falls and other colleges and universities throughout the area. The Alliance Defense Fund represented her, and the district soon settled the case, agreeing to change its restrictive speech policies and restore the First Amendment protections of all students.