Boise State University will engage in mediation proceedings with the student group Abolitionists4Life to attempt a negotiated resolution to a free-speech lawsuit the group filed against the university over restrictions the school imposed on the group’s activities on campus. The school had issued regulations requiring Abolitionists4Life to post warnings around campus when they displayed graphic images of abortions during their protests. The group claims this is an encroachment on their free speech rights, and further claims the school has been inconsistent with its enforcement of campus speech policy.
The university denies these accusations and states that it always requires warning notices whenever a group displays potentially offensive or graphic images. The school, also points out that students and groups are always free to discuss issues and hand out literature as they wish, unless they host an event in one of the eleven designated public “speech zones” set aside for demonstrations and gatherings. If they do so they are prohibited from staging simultaneous events elsewhere on campus.
Abolitionists4Life claim that not only did their signs have warning labels affixed to them which the school judged insufficient without offering justification, other groups broke these rules with impunity while they were singled out for enforcement. The university also denies these charges.
Mediation will be arranged by the university and an attempt will be made to come to a mutual agreement on how the school can adjust its enforcement policies. If no agreement can be reached, the lawsuit will proceed into the courts.