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Free Speech on Campus
Building and Effective Response Strategy
Anti-Semitism: Prejudice and Discrimination Against Jews
When Does Criticism of Israel Become Anti-Semitism
Frequently Asked Questions
  Israel
Responding to Anti-Israel Campaigns on College and University Campuses
Free Speech on Campus
Offensive Literature and Symbolic Speech
Updated: January 20, 2009

Often student groups or outside speakers distribute extremist literature. Leaflets are one of the most highly protected forms of speech. The university may rarely restrict, let alone prohibit, the distribution of literature. A blanket ban on distributing noncommercial leaflets in places appropriate for political expression is constitutionally prohibited. Concerns about littering are not sufficient to merit any restrictions on leaflets and even anonymous leaflets typically are protected.

Universities generally may not prohibit offensive symbolic speech, such as the display of a Nazi or Confederate flag. The First Amendment prevents the government from banning symbols that it finds deplorable or offensive. However, university administrators can exercise their own free speech rights to condemn hate and hateful symbols.

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Fighting Back: A Handbook for Responding to Anti-Israel Rallies on College and University Campuses (.pdf - 248kb requires Acrobat Reader )
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