SD School Responds To Free Speech Lawsuit

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) -- The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and a Christian evangelist who wants more freedom to speak on campus are poised for a court battle.

Mark Gavin is suing the school, saying it violated his free speech rights by not allowing him to preach in open areas on campus.

The Rapid City Journal reports that the school filed a response to the federal lawsuit, indicating it will not back off on insisting that Gavin pay a $50 fee for an area inside the student union. The school argues that its policy establishes areas "appropriate for expression" that do not infringe on Gavin's First Amendment rights.

The college considers Gavin's speech to be solicitation, and a school policy requires solicitors to register with the school and be confined to an area inside the student union.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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