A student who’s also a military veteran was suspended from a community college in Connecticut for questioning the governor of the state, Dannel Malloy, about gun control laws that had recently passed. The governor was at the college for a public forum on the topic, and the student’s suspension led an advocacy group to condemn the actions of the college for infringing on his First Amendment rights.
Nicholas Saucier is a former sniper in the Army who served overseas. He had started an ammunition manufacturing business and pressured Malloy for answers regarding his support for gun control after the governor had finished his speech at Asnuntuck Community College. Apparently the new laws had a negative effect on Saucier’s business and put it in jeopardy, according to the DailyCaller.
Saucier followed Malloy out to his vehicle while talking calmly to the governor and video recording the entire time (video is above). Once Malloy refused to answer any of Saucier’s questions, Saucier called him a “snake” and walked away.
Not too long after the incident, Saucier was informed that he was being suspended because his “continued presence on campus would present a danger to the persons, property and/or academic process of the College.”
He was then officially charged with showing disrespect for and engaging in harassing Malloy, which is apparently a violation of ACC’s student codes.
In spite of everything being caught on video, administrators accused Saucier of becoming increasingly hostile, calling Malloy a “f***king snake,” and claiming he reached into his pocket for a weapon. The alleged “weapon” was the camera he was recording the incident with.
Prior to a sham trial, the college tried to get Saucier to plead guilty to his charges and undergo counseling but he instead said that he wanted to have a formal hearing.
He wrongly assumed that the hearing would be at all fair, and administrators refused to let him show the video he shot which would have exonerated him of the charges because they let themselves “decide what information is appropriate.” Because of their unwillingness to see the truth, administrators ended up finding Saucier guilty of all the charges against him.
(Read More: Obama Secretly Signs No Free Speech Bill)
His suspension was lifted however he was placed on probation with the condition that any future problems with his conduct “will likely result in Suspension or Expulsion from the College.”
Peter Bonilla from the Foundation for Individual Rights In Education said that the college showed little regard for Saucier’s rights.
“This case stands as a startling example of what can happen when disrespect for student First Amendment rights is combined with disregard for student due process rights,” he said in a statement.
“ACC’s myriad violations of Nicholas Saucier’s rights, effective rewriting of its conduct procedures, and failure to rectify its errors should give all Americans great concern.”
Do you think Saucier should have been suspended for exercising his right to free speech? Let us know with a comment, we love to read them!