Wisconsin student suing college attends White House campus free speech announcement

WASHINGTON (GRAY DC) -- After suing her college claiming they violated her First Amendment rights, Wisconsin college student Polly Olsen was at the White House Thursday for President Donald Trump’s announcement about campus free speech.

Trump signed an executive order meant to hold American colleges and universities accountable in protecting their student’s free speech by dangling taking away federal funds.

“I was not expecting my ‘Jesus Loves You’ valentines to take me to the White House,” said Olsen.

Polly Olsen is a student at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) and was stopped by campus security when handing out valentine’s referencing Bible verses in 2018. She later filed a lawsuit against the school because she said her First Amendment rights were violated.

NWTC said the reason Olsen was stopped is because she was handing out the valentines in an area where she needed prior approval, WBAY reported. The campus does have areas where students do not need prior permission, and the school denied in their response to the suit that this policy is unconstitutional.

Olsen said she was excited to be invited to the White House for the announcement and supports the order because she thinks “it will keep colleges in check.”

“Even though we have our first amendment rights, it’s an extra precaution to make sure that campuses are actually following through in allowing students to speak on both sides of an issue or multiple sides of an issue or religion,” she said.

Back in Wisconsin, Olsen said NWTC is already changing the campus policy and she hopes her story will help inspire others.