NAS Defends Freedom of Speech in Barnes v. Zaccari

Ashley Thorne

Joining a coalition of fifteen organizations, NAS submitted a friend-of-the-court brief to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in the case Barnes v. Zaccari. The Foundation of Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) authored the brief and has defended Hayden Barnes in this case.

Hayden Barnes was a student at Valdosta State University who in 2007, through emails, posters, and a letter to the student newspaper, peacefully protested the construction of new parking garages on campus and advocated more environmentally friendly alternatives. On his Facebook wall, Barnes posted a collage of pictures as part of his protest.

He also wrote to former VSU President Ronald M. Zaccari asking whether he could be exempt from the mandatory student fees that would be imposed to pay for the parking garage.

Zaccari responded by ordering that Barnes be “administratively withdrawn from campus,” stating that Barnes presented a “clear and present danger” to him and those at VSU because of his photo collage and the way Barnes had raised his objections to the parking garage construction. Zaccari expelled Barnes without following university disciplinary procedures. Thus Barnes was deprived of both due process and his right to freedom of speech.

The next year, at the urging of FIRE, Valdosta State University reversed its expulsion of Barnes, but as FIRE president Greg Lukianoff said in this video (as the parking garage construction went up in the background), "the damage is already done."

The NAS works to protect freedom of speech and Constitutional rights in American higher education. We join with FIRE and the other organizations who submitted the brief in defending free speech for Hayden Barnes.

For more details, see FIRE’s press release.

  • Share

Most Commented

September 5, 2014

1.

Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome

"[PTSS] provides an evidence-proof explanation that lifts away moral responsibility from those engaged in self-destructive, anti-social, and criminal behavior."...

September 21, 2010

2.

Ask a Scholar: What Does YHWH Elohim Mean?

A reader asks, "If Elohim refers to multiple 'gods,' then Yhwh Elohim really means Lord of Gods...the one of many, right?" A Hebrew expert answers....

April 9, 2018

3.

How Many Confucius Institutes Are in the United States?

Download an updated PDF that lists all of the Confucius Institutes in the United States, along with information on who to contact if you have concerns....

Most Read

October 12, 2010

1.

Ask a Scholar: What is the True Definition of Latino?

What does it mean to be Latino? Are only Latin American people Latino, or does the term apply to anyone whose language derived from Latin?...