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College Suspends Student for This Conversation

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Published on Apr 1, 2014

On October 23, 2013, Asnuntuck Community College (ACC) student Nicholas Saucier had a videotaped conversation about recent gun legislation with Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, who was visiting campus as part of an ongoing conference. At the end of the conversation, during which he called Malloy a "snake" as Malloy left in his vehicle, Saucier was confronted by the college's president and a campus security officer, who escorted him off campus. The college charged Saucier with harassment and making threats, among other violations of its conduct policies. When Saucier challenged the charges at an official hearing, the college refused to review the video evidence of the incident provided by Saucier, which demonstrated that his expression was protected by the First Amendment. Saucier was found guilty of all charges and placed on probation. On January 13, 2014, FIRE wrote a letter calling on ACC to reverse its decision and uphold students' free speech and due process rights. The college has failed to respond.

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