Sunday, July 27, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

ACLU attorney takes wait-and-see tack on UCD protest policy

UC Davis students and supporters crowd into the lobby of Mrak Hall in November 2009 as they protest a 32 percent increase in tuition. A UCD police officer watches from the stairs. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise file photo

By
June 17, 2011 |

UC Davis’ new policy of having plainclothes police and staff wear name tags at student protests could be a workable compromise, a civil liberties attorney said Thursday.

“If it’s done in a way that doesn’t chill and is consistent with the exercise of free-speech rights, that’s acceptable, because they’re in public places and publicly declaring themselves,” said Linda Lye, a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California.

“It depends on how it’s actually implemented. So the intent is great, as long as the effect is consistent with that intent.”

Lye spoke about student rights at the annual meeting of the Yolo County chapter of the ACLU, attended by about 35 people at the Davis United Methodist Church. She also addressed issues such as search and seizure in grade schools and electronic bullying.

UCD officials admitted this spring that a campus cop lied about her identity to students during a March 2 protest. A public records request later revealed the existence of a new Student Activism Response Team, which angered students.

Lye said that if police take action that deters activities protected by the First Amendment, there may be in violation of California privacy laws.

“I think the best practice would be to identify yourself as being from the government; that would be much better,” she said. “If they’re totally undercover, it’s hard to argue they’re chilling because you don’t know they’re there. And if it’s in a public place, they have as much of a right to be there as anyone else.

“If it gets into infiltration, where they pretend to be a student and they go to a closed student planning meeting, I think that is extremely problematic. But if it’s attending public protests, I think best practices is that there should be greater transparency.”

UCD officials said the all-volunteer Response Team was formed last summer, in response to an increased number of tuition hike protests, so that staff would be on hand for such tasks as speaking to students about dealing with crowds, counter-protesters, safety concerns and police.

Officials acknowledged they tracked online postings about upcoming protests, but say they did so only for planning reasons. Neither staff nor police at protests took down names of students taking part, UCD officials have said.

“Over the summer, (Response Team members) will be considering additional steps to address the concerns raised by some students and community members,” spokeswoman Claudia Morain wrote in an email message Thursday.

Eric Lee, who recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science, filed the public records request. He said name tags solve nothing.

“This is an issue of trust,” Lee said at the ACLU event. “It sends a terrible message to students. Whether it will turn them off from protesting, it could get us closer to the boiling point. It’s certainly chilling, that I can say for sure.”

Lye also explained the quandary the courts — and the ACLU — face over electronic bullying.

Established law, dating to the Vietnam War era, gives schools the authority to regulate speech that could cause a substantial disruption either to the student body or, in other instances, an individual student.

Electronic bullying often can take place off campus, however.

Lye used the example of a black girl attending sixth grade in a largely white school. A bully created a fake Facebook page on which the girl bragged of having sex with many boys in class, alienating the girls’ friends, upsetting parents and even causing the school to punish the victim.

Eventually, the girl’s parents pulled her out of the school.

So far, the courts have shown a willingness to let schools punish violent speech online, like a student depicting the killing of a teacher.

In two Pennsylvania cases this week, however, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of students who created fake MySpace profiles parodying their principals because the justices didn’t believe they created a significant disruption.

Lye also discussed:

* A case in which the Shasta Union High School District enacted random drug testing for students in school-sponsored activities like choir or mock trial. A Superior Court judge in 2009 filed an injunction halting the testing. In September, the district lost its appeal.

* A case in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that police must take into account the age of a suspect in determining whether questioning is “coercive.” The decision stemmed from a case in which a seventh-grade special-needs student in North Carolina was questioned at school by police about neighborhood thefts without being read his Miranda rights or having his parents informed.

* A decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that found for the parents after an Oregon 9-year-old was questioned by police as a potential witness in a sexual abuse case without their consent. In May, the Supreme Court tossed the ruling on procedural grounds.

* The ACLU’s support of Assembly Bill 9, dubbed “Seth’s Law,” which would require schools to set up anti-harassment programs. The bill is named for Seth Walsh, a 13-year-old gay student from Tehachapi, who committed suicide last September after being bullied. It has passed the Assembly and races a Senate Education Committee hearing next week.

— Reach Cory Golden at cgolden@davisenterprise.net or (530) 747-8046.

Comments

comments

Cory Golden

Cory Golden

The Enterprise's higher-education and congressional reporter. http://about.me/cory_golden
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Zombies by rail: It’s not just a show, it’s a trip

    By Evan Arnold-Gordon | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Fatal Covell Boulevard crash recalled in court

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

    Humphrey Fellows will host Global Forum

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Community gardens stretch food dollars, study finds

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Wildfire spurs evacuation of 700 homes

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    State can’t say if it’s meeting drought goal

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Rairdan joins race for Davis school board

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Ukraine launches offensive to retake Donetsk

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Israel extends Gaza truce through Sunday

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    New ordinance aims to prevent nut thefts from orchards

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

     
    Biggest book sale to date opens Friday at Davis library

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Luna family matriarch turns 100

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
     
    Discussion of oil by rail EIR planned Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Mace Innovation Center is focus of meeting

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Freeway crash injures two drivers

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5

    Museum wants your old Davis High School yearbooks

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Affordable housing forum planned in Davis

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Protesters gather at Primate Center

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A8

     
    State awards $40,000 for historic property survey

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A8

    Free blood pressure screenings offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Vanguard hosts economic development director

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Get a sneak peek at documentary trailer

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Davis Chamber Choir sings short summer program

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A9

    Tasting event benefits Yolo Land Trust

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A9

     
    At the Pond: From Davis, it’s easy to get back to nature

    By Jean Jackman | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    Tickets on sale now for DHS Hall of Fame dinner

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    .

    Forum

    Feels like a million miles away

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A7

     
    Here’s what you need for a perfect wedding

    By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

     
    Check doctors’ vitals before they check yours

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    Husband’s let himself go

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A14

     
    Questions on water rights

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A16, 1 Comment

    Campus turns on the tap

    By Our View | From Page: A16

     
    So, what’s in a week’s worth of waste?

    By Michelle Millet | From Page: A16

    Pat Oliphant cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A16

     
    Golf tourney was a big success

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A16

    We can do more to help

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A17

     
    New playground is wonderful

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A17

    Just Us in Davis: Little Rock Nine hero to celebrate with Davis youths

    By Jann L. Murray-Garcia | From Page: A17 | Gallery

     
    .

    Sports

    Sutherland presents 1st clinic; golf column on its way

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    New Korematsu teacher is an American Ninja Warrior

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Furyk opens 3-shot lead in Canadian Open

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Gray wins 6th straight, A’s 4 HRs beat Texas 5-1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Kershaw throws 2-hitter as Dodgers beat Giants 5-0

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Nibali set to cruise to Tour victory

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Area sports briefs: River Cats take Game 1 of doubleheader

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Companies will collaborate on crop insect control

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A13

     
    Developer’s commitments: affordable and green

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13 | Gallery

    Lagerstrom represents Davis at Mary Kay seminar

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A15

     
    UC Davis Health System earns ‘Most Wired’ award

    By Charles Casey | From Page: A15

    Bartholomew hires new associate

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

     
    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A15

    Go back to school with Great Clips

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Carlton Hope Meister

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Jonathan Eric Hollander

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, July 27, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: A6