Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the First Amendment?

  1. The First Amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and thee right to petition.  It forbids Congress from both promoting one religion over others and also restricting an individual's religious practices.

    The First Amendment reads:
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


What is Free Speech?

  1. Freedom of expression affords the faculty, staff and students the right to speak and write freely in accordance with the constitutional protections of free speech. The San Diego Community College District guarantees freedom of expression provided that such expression does not result in a disruption of the orderly operations of campus and District programs and activities.

Does the First Amendment Protect Civil Disobedience On Campus?

  1. Civil disobedience is not protected speech under the Constitution.  The Constitution does not guarantee any right to engage in civil disobedience.

    Reference: This information is published on many University and ACLU websites.

What is Academic Freedom?

  1. Academic freedom affords the faculty the right to speak freely and write, without unreasonable restrictions or prejudices. 

Can College Officials or the student government censor a student organization publication if the College or Student Government Funds It?

  1. The First Amendment does not require the government to provide a platform to anyone, but it does prohibit the government from discriminating against speech on the basis of the speaker’s viewpoint. For example, public colleges and universities have no obligation to fund student publications; however, the Supreme Court has held that if a public university voluntarily provides these funds, it cannot selectively withhold them from particular student publications simply because they advocate a controversial point of view.

What is SDCCD's Student Code of Conduct?  How does it relate to free Speech?

  1. SDCCD's Student Code of Conduct is reflected in BP 5500 – Student Rights, Responsibilities, Campus Safety and Administrative Due Process articulate with rights and responsibilities of all students. In addition to other rights, it notes the right to exercise free expression and where and how it is appropriate to do so. Further, it notes the limitations of free expression, including inciting or creating a clear and present danger of unlawful acts, violation of state or federal laws, or other substantially disruptive behavior.