College Relocates 9/11 Memorial After ‘Triggering, Harmful Or Harassing’ Speech Policy

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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter
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Southern Methodist University prevented a student group from predominantly displaying a 9/11 memorial that featured almost 3,000 American flags to honor those slain, according to a Wednesday report.

The school blocked its Young Americans for Freedom group from displaying the memorial on Dallas Hall Lawn after a July 2017 policy stressed its desire to “avoid messages that are triggering, harmful, or harassing” in the location, according to The College Fix.

The college will allow the group to display the memorial at a different location, but the two groups have different opinions concerning why the request for the first location was denied.

“All approved lawn displays, regardless of sponsoring organization or subject, now will be located on a larger site, MoMac Park,” said SMU in a statement posted Tuesday to Twitter, describing the policy edited in July. “The policy has been further updated to better reflect [the balance between freedom of speech and freedom from coercion/harassment] and to remove the poor wording regarding triggering or harmful messages.”

“This new location is far less prominent than the iconic Dallas Hall Lawn, which thousands of students, faculty and local residents pass by every day and serves as the heart of our campus,” said the SMU College Republicans on Facebook in response. “This is disappointing considering that the purpose of the many displays that our organizations construct is to generate respectful, diverse dialogue so that our campus will be a center for thoughtful and engaging discussion that inspires and informs the ‘World Changers’ we are all striving to become.”

The statement is signed by representatives of SMU’s College Republicans, College Democrats, Feminist Equality Movement, Mustangs for Life, Turning Point USA, and Young Americans for Freedom chapters. Drew Wicker, president of the school’s College Republicans, told The College Fix that the groups did not want SMU to “go the way of UC Berkeley, Middlebury or Evergreen College.” (RELATED: Evergreen State President Doesn’t Seem To Understand Free Speech)

The actual policy was removed from the university’s site Tuesday, according to The College Fix.

Pro-life crosses displayed on Dallas Hall Lawn have previously generated controversy for members of SMU’s community.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to SMU for further comment, but received none in time for press.

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