One young woman’s lengthy battle to spread the Gospel at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College is now dragging into its fifth year.
Since 2014, Polly Olsen has handed out Valentine’s Day cards with biblically themed messages to students and staff on campus. During that time, she has often been met with resistance in the form of the school’s public assembly policy, which forbids the “displaying of signs or mass distribution of literature with offensive content or that is likely to or intended to cause a disruption.”
Finally, in February of last year, that tradition ended when security workers at NWTC stopped the 29-year-old from distributing the inspirational messages at the school’s student center. They then warned that some may find the notes displayed on the heart-shaped cards offensive.
Some of the card’s ‘offensive’ messages included the following:
“You are special! 1 John 4:11,”
“God is love! 1 John 4:11,”
“Jesus Loves you! Romans 5:8;” and
“You are loved and cared for! 1 Peter 5:7”
According to The College Fix, school officials claimed that by handing out the cards in an area designated a non-speech zone, Olsen was violating the college’s speech code.
“I have been trying since February 14, 2014 to have this policy changed,” she told The Fix in an email. “At that time, I was told by school officials that the policy would be changed and they would look into the staff being educated on students’ constitutional rights. They agreed that I would be allowed to continue to hand out my Valentines… I have spent five years now, trying to get this policy changed.”
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