A student at the University of South Alabama found out the hard way about the limits of his school’s support for free speech.
Campus Reform reported on Wednesday that William David Meredith was threatened by Community Director Dylan Lloyd over a Trump campaign sign hanging in the window of his dorm.
“I am asking that you remove the sign within 24 hours. I have included your RA, Tiffany, on this email so that she can check to ensure it is gone within 24 hours.” Lloyd said in an e-mail to the student.
“1st Amendment,” is all Meredith said in his reply.
Lloyd continued to e-mail him insisting that the dorm is federal property, and they cannot have any signs that make it appear that the school is endorsing a candidate. Meredith correctly replied that Trump was no longer a candidate, but the sitting President of the United States and he wanted to show support.
“The sign in your window is a political sign that shows support for a political candidate,” Lloyd replied and then threatened Meredith, “if it is not removed within 24 hours then this will turn into a judicial case and (Meredith) will have to meet with (him) to discuss breaking policy.”
Flabbergasted by his refusal to take down the sign, Lloyd attempted to reason that Trump is going to be a candidate in four years, (when Meredith won’t even be in the school) so he can’t hang the sign.
Ultimately more school administrators became involved, and Michael Haskins, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications, wrote to Campus Reform to inform him that the whole thing had been a big misunderstanding.
“The staff have been instructed as to the proper interpretation and application of university policy, and the student who communicated with you has been informed of the misunderstanding and that the sign is permissible,” Haskin said in the email.