JSH attorneys Michele Molinario and Joseph Popolizio presented “First Amendment Rights: Civil Unrest & Social Issues on Campus” during the 2021 Community College Risk Management Summit hosted by the Arizona School Risk Retention Trust.
The concept of free speech continues to be a controversial topic on college campuses. Protesting the right of a speaker to share his or her controversial viewpoint rather protesting a speaker’s controversial viewpoint has led to clashes on many college campuses, oftentimes between campus security and “First Amendment Auditors.”
During their presentation, Michele and Joe discussed the First Amendment and its limitations on protests (peaceably versus rioting), what it protects (such as the right to film, exercise free speech and expression, and assembly) and the blurred line between protected expressive speech and criminal conduct. They also provided recent examples of First Amendment audits – sensational videos showing confrontations with public employees who supposedly violated the First Amendment and “FAILED” the audit – and what campus administrators can do to prepare for these activities.
The Arizona School Risk Retention Trust, Inc., is a non-profit corporation that provides Arizona public school districts and community colleges with property and liability coverages and related services. The Trust was established in 1986 under A.R.S. § 11-952.01(A). It operates as a risk retention pool funded and governed by its members, and backed by the best reinsurance companies in the world.