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Arkansas State drops policy on speech expression zones

March 9, 2019

MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas State University System has repealed its policy on free speech zones to comply with a new state law.

The Board of Trustees on Friday dropped the policy that led to a federal lawsuit by student Ashlyn Hoggard and was criticized by U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

ASU attorney Brad Phelps declined comment on the lawsuit and system spokesman Jeff Hankins said the new policy is to comply with a new state law .

The law prohibits free speech zones and allows “members of the campus community to spontaneously and contemporaneously assemble, speak, and distribute literature.”

The lawsuit by Alliance Defending Freedom alleges Hoggard was prevented from recruiting on campus in October 2017 for the conservative group Turning Point USA.

Alliance attorney Tyson Langhoffer said the repeal doesn’t affect the lawsuit because the alleged violation occurred before the policy was repealed.

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