Administrators at a California college demanded the removal of a pro-Second Amendment banner from a conservative student group's recruitment booth because the banner included an image of guns, Townhall reported.
The Young Americans for Freedom chapter at Costa Mesa's Orange Coast College on Feb. 13 hoisted a banner with the phrases "Don't Tread On Me" and "2nd Amendment Since 1789" — along with an image of two rifles.
With that, administrators told YAF students the banner violated school policy AP 3530, which prohibits "firearms, knives, explosives or other dangerous objects" and any "facsimile of a firearm," Townhall reported — and the officials said the banner violated the "facsimile of a firearm" language.
As you might expect, YAF students weren't happy.
"We displayed this flag to express our support for the Second Amendment," Benjamin Keene, YAF chapter chair, told the outlet. "It is completely outrageous that the college would censor our freedom of expression to display the image of a firearm. It is very un-American of the administration to prohibit us from displaying our constitutional right."
Spencer Brown, YAF's national spokesman, told Townhall that the "intent behind the school's policy is to promote the physical safety of students on campus. School administrators are manipulating school policy to censor students' support of the Second Amendment."
A positive outcome
YAF on Friday shared with TheBlaze an email from an Orange Coast College administrator apologizing to YAF chapter students for telling them to remove the banner.
It appears there was a "misunderstanding" about the interpretation of the word "facsimile," according to the email sent to Keene, and that "what is prohibited on campus are weapons or facsimiles of weapons that are replicas which can be mistaken for a real weapon" — as opposed to images of weapons.
"I should not have asked you to remove the flag, and indeed, you and your Club had a constitutional right to display the flag under the First Amendment," the administrator added. "I would like to apologize for requesting that you take the banner down."
When else was Orange Coast College in the news?
Orange Coast College was in the headlines in late 2016 when a psychology instructor was caught on video during class calling Donald Trump's recent presidential election an "act of terrorism" — and a teacher's union issued a legal threat to the student who shot the clip. The professor in question also allegedly asked Trump supporters to stand up during class.
A few months later, Orange Coast College suspended the student who shot the video — but walked it all back after about a week on the heels of a national outcry against the suspension.
In March 2017, the professor who called Trump's election an "act of terrorism" was nominated for "faculty member of the year."