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Student: I was deemed 'disruptive' for handing out 'Jesus loves you' Valentines. Now she's suing.

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A Wisconsin student said her college's administration deemed her “disruptive” earlier this year for handing out Valentine’s Day paper hearts — and now she's suing. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

A Wisconsin student said her college's administration deemed her “disruptive” earlier this year for handing out “Jesus loves you" Valentine’s Day paper hearts — and now she's suing, Campus Reform reported.

What happened?

Polly Olsen's lawsuit against her school — Northeast Wisconsin Technical College — claims a campus security officer confronted her on Feb. 14 while she was handing out the Valentines.

Polly Olsen (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

They also included phrases such as “you are special!” and “you have a purpose" as well as Bible verses, the outlet said.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

The officer allegedly told Olsen she was violating school policy by “soliciting” and being a “disruptive student,” Campus Reform said, citing the suit. The officer allegedly said she could hand out the Valentines only in the campus' “free speech area," which requires a reservation and approval, the outlet noted.

Olsen said NWTC's “free speech zone” is “about the size of two buses next to each other" — less than one percent of the campus area — and that no one “congregates there, they just walk through,” which limits substantial interaction, the outlet reported.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

The officer allegedly took Olsen to NWTC’s security office where she said she spoke to a supervisor and director of campus security about the incident, Campus Reform said.

“NWTC thinks that they have the right to prohibit this freedom,” Olsen told the outlet, adding that the speech restriction is “unconstitutional, dogmatic, and not what education is about.”

Olsen was soon represented by the Wisconsin Institute for Liberty and Law, who put together a video describing her claims against the college:



Where did Olsen get the idea for handing out her special Valentine's Day hearts?

Olsen added to Campus Reform that her Valentines inspiration came from her late mother, who passed out similar hearts to give people hope.

“Since my mother’s passing, I have carried on the tradition in her memory,” Olsen told the outlet.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

What did the college have to say?

Karen Smits, NWTC's vice president of advancement,  told Campus Reform the school is "committed to the free exchange of ideas and to maintaining a welcoming and safe environment that promotes student success."

But Smits declined to comment on Olsen's case due to “student confidentiality," the outlet reported.

The official also told Campus Reform that “free speech is exercised every day in many different contexts all over the NWTC campus” and that the “policy deals with ‘public assembly’ as the law recognizes that, unlike a public park, not all physical areas of educational institutions are open for public assembly.”

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