Community College Ban on “Verbal Forms of Aggression: Harassment, Ridicule or Intimidation” Violates Constitutionally Vague

Magistrate Judge Christopher D. Baker (E.D. Cal.) reported and recommended in Johnson v. Watkin that BP 3050, the Kern Community College District’s policy on “Institutional Code of Ethics,” is impermissibly vague. The policy requires individuals associated with the District to conduct themselves with civility and prohibits participation in physical or verbal forms of aggression, threat, harassment, ridicule, or intimidation. However, the Judge found that the term “verbal forms of aggression” lacks a commonly understood meaning and creates ambiguity, allowing for viewpoint discrimination in determining what speech may constitute “verbal forms of aggression.” Plaintiff, a history professor, is represented by Alan Gura, Courtney Corbello, and Endel Kolde of the Institute for Free Speech. The post “Community College Ban on ‘Verbal Forms of Aggression … Harassment, Ridicule or Intimidation’ Is Unconstitutionally Vague,” was published in Reason.com.