II.E. SPEECH AND CONDUCT ON COLLEGE PREMISES
II.E.1. Expressive Activity on College Premises
The College recognizes and supports free speech rights and the free exchange of ideas. The College recognizes individuals’ right to freedom of speech, petition, peaceful assembly, and responding to those Expressive Activities2 as set forth in the United States Constitution, the Texas State Constitution, and the laws of the State of Texas3. The College strives to provide a suitable environment for its faculty, staff, and students to work, study, and perform activities furthering the College’s mission without undue interference or disturbance.
The College enforces Viewpoint- and Content-Neutral speech restrictions. Disruptive acts to the College’s normal operations, in the Chancellor’s or designee’s view, are not allowed. Faculty, staff, and students engaging in acts disruptive to the College’s normal operations or unduly interfering with another’s Expressive Activities, may be subject to disciplinary action.4 A College employee or student who believes their rights have been violated under this section may file a grievance under Section IV.E.6. and Section VI.D.12, respectively.5 Academic freedom and student First Amendment rights are covered elsewhere in the Policy Manual.
Chancellor’s Procedures may be developed to further clarify this policy.6
(a) Disruptive means substantially disrupting or materially interfering with the College’s central mission of educating students.7 This definition does not include action that merely presents the possibility of discomfort or unpleasantness that often accompanies unpopular viewpoints.
(b) Expressive Activities8 means any speech or expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution or by Section 8, Article I, Texas Constitution, and includes assemblies, protests, speeches, the distribution of written material, the carrying of signs, and the circulation of petitions. The term does not include commercial speech.
(c) Common Outdoor Areas means the common outdoor9 areas of each College campus where anyone may engage in Expressive Activities.10 The College deems each College campus’ common outdoor areas as traditional public forums, subject to Viewpoint- and Content-Neutral restrictions.11
(d) Premises means any real property which the College possesses, controls, or owns.
(e) Viewpoint- and Content-Neutral means speech policies or procedures that regulate speech without consideration for the speech’s content, such as regulations regarding speech’s time, manner, and place.
II.E.1.03. Respect and Conduct during Expressive Activities
All persons attending or participating in an Expressive Activity will conduct themselves with respect for the forum and the learning environment at all times. Persons will have an opportunity to express contrary viewpoints as appropriate for the forum. Expression of a contrary or dissenting viewpoint may not be undertaken in a manner that is unlawful13 and materially or substanially disrupts the College's function.14
Disruptive and unlawful conduct may15 result in any or all of the following College actions: use of College disciplinary processes for students and employees, action by College police officers, or appropriate external law enforcement involvement.
II.E.1.04. Expressive Activities May Not Cause Obstruction
Expressive Activities must not obstruct vehicular, bicycle, or pedestrian traffic. Expressive Activities must not interfere with ingress or egress to the College’s facilities, activities, or events.
LSCS Policy Manual Section adopted by the Board of Trustees on October 6, 2022
II.E.2. Prohibited Conduct on College Premises
The College provides a suitable environment for its faculty, staff, and students to work, study, and perform activities furthering the College’s mission without undue interference or disturbance.
II.E.2.02. Prohibited Trespass and Damages
It is unlawful for any person to trespass on College grounds or damage or deface any of the buildings, statues, monuments, memorials, trees, shrubs, grasses, or flowers on College grounds.
II.E.2.03. Entering or Remaining on College Premises After Withdrawal of Consent
A person who has been notified by a College president or a College police officer that consent to remain on the campus or facility has been withdrawn pursuant to a period of disruption, who has not had consent reinstated, and who willfully and knowingly enters or remains upon the campus or facility during the period for which consent has been withdrawn, is guilty of a misdemeanor and is subject to punishment as defined by law. This section does not apply to any person who enters or remains on the campus/facility for the sole purpose of applying to the College Chancellor, president, authorized officer, or authorized employee for the reinstatement of consent or for the sole purpose of attending a hearing on the withdrawal.
The College will establish procedures governing the notification and appeal of individuals whose consent to remain on campus has been withdrawn.
II.E.2.04. Disruptive Activities on College Premises
A person commits an offense if the person, alone or in concert with others, intentionally engages in disruptive activity on College premises. Disruptive activity is defined in Texas Education Code section 37.123. This section may not be construed to infringe on any right of free speech or expression guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States or of the State of Texas.
LSCS Policy Manual Section adopted by the Board of Trustees on December 1, 2016
2 Tex. Educ. Code § 51.9315(f)(1)(A).
3 Tex. Educ. Code § 51.9315(f)(1).
4 Tex. Educ. Code § 51.9315(f)(2).
5 Tex. Educ. Code § 51.9315(f)(3).
6 Tex. Educ. Code § 51.9315(d).
7 Tex. Educ. Code § 51.9315(c)(2)(B).
8 Tex. Educ. Code § 51.9315(a)(2).
9 Tex. Educ. Code §§ 51.9315(c)(1)–(2).
10 Tex. Educ. Code § 51.9315(c)(2).
11 Tex. Educ. Code § 51.9315(c)(1).
12 Tex. Educ. Code § 51.9315(d).
13 Tex. Educ. Code § 51.9315(c)(2)(A).
14 Tex. Educ. Code § 51.9315(c)(2)(B).
15 Tex. Educ. Code § 51.9315(f)(2).