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Man Stopped from Praying Outside Clemson 'Free Speech Zone'

08-31-2016
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A man who was praying on the Clemson University campus was asked to leave by an administrator because he was not in a "designated free speech zone."

The administrator, tasked with enforcing the rules of the campus's free speech policy, was approached by student Kyra Palange, who witnessed the incident.

Palange is a member of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) and she recorded herself questioning the policy.

Palange released the following statement to YAF explaining what happened:

"I was walking across the grassy area near Fort Hill after class at about 3:15 when I saw someone sitting in a folding chair. Next to him was another folding chair with an 8x10 sign that said PRAYER. I approached him and we sat down to pray for a few minutes. When we finished, a man from the university approached us and said he could not be praying there because it was not a 'designated free speech area' and presented the person who was praying with a form for the procedures for applying for 'solicitation' on campus. He told him he had to leave."

"Attention Clemson: The entire United States of America is a free speech zone. If an American wants to exercise their religion, they should be able to do it regardless of whether or not they are in a 'designated free speech area.' And silently offering prayer to anyone who wants to take part is not 'solicitation.'" Emily Jashinsky, spokeswoman for Young America's Foundation — which merged with Young Americans for Freedom five years ago — said.

Jashinsky told CBN News that YAF will continue to put pressure on Clemson to reverse its policy of restricting speech on a public campus, especially as it impacts invitations to pray.

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