A federal judge in Green Bay ruled Friday that Northeast Wisconsin Technical College violated the First Amendment when officials ordered a student to stop handing out Valentine’s Day cards containing messages from the Bible, including “Jesus Loves You!” and “God is Love!”
Polly Olsen, 29, a Green Bay woman studying to become a paralegal, filed a lawsuit against the college a little more than a year ago and came to the attention of President Donald Trump, who invited her to the White House in March.
On Valentine’s Day 2018, Olsen was handing out cards with Bible messages to students and staff when a campus official told her she was violating school policy and took her to the security office. Olsen has said the cards were a family tradition started by her late mother.
“There can be no doubt that in handing out her homemade valentines to her fellow students, friends and staff at NWTC, Olsen was engaged in a constitutionally protected form of expression,” U.S. District Court Chief Judge William C. Griesbach wrote in his decision.Griesbach ruled in favor of Olsen, awarded damages of $1 and ordered that NWTC not use a school policy in order to prevent other students from handing out similar cards or messages.
The NWTC policy in question is called “Freedom of Speech, Expression, and Public Assembly.”
It is infuriating that we have to even litigate things like this. The woman was handing out cards. If you received one and didn’t want it, throw it away. End of problem. The school did not need to insert itself into such a simple human interaction with its stupid and unconstitutional policy.