Tuesday, January 25, 2005

"Support our Troops" against U of Ore. policy.

On his blog at Crosswalk, Kevin McCullough alerts readers to this story out of Oregon. It seems the University of Oregon has decided to ban those yellow "Support our Troops" stickers from university vehicles because they are "political statements."

"I don't know how they think these are political. I think they're patriotic," said Pete Baker, U of O delivery driver. Pete Baker has had the stickers on his work truck for months. Friday, a university employee complained. Now the stickers are gone.

"I'm not democratic or republican, and I was really surprised the university deemed them to be political," said Baker. Others who work with Baker try to understand.

"These are like their offices they work in them for eight hours a day. They're going to do something personal with them," said Ron Lattion, facilities Maintenace worker.

In an e-mailed statement, the University of Oregon says it is unclear if the decals are a political statement. But to make sure they are in compliance with state restrictions, all stickers were ordered to be removed.

. . .

Under state law, public employees can not use state resources to spread political messages. The university determined that some may view the yellow ribbons as a political statement, therefore they demanded that all those stickers be removed.

Yes, you heard that right. University employees are not allowed to use state resources -- a classroom, for example -- to make political statements. I hope someone is monitoring every professor in every class to ensure that they make no political statements.

You've seen these magnetic yellow ribbons everywhere. They carry various messages of support. Some say simply "Support our Troops." I've seen others that say "Support our Troops -- Bring them Home." So even if they are a political statement, they are certainly not a uniform one.

Kevin McCullough sees this as a first amendment issue, and not unreasonably, I think.

As Drudge would say, "developing."


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