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Man Stopped from Praying Outside Clemson 'Free Speech Zone'


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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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About The Author

Caitlin Burke Headshot

Caitlin Burke serves as National Security Correspondent and a general assignment reporter for CBN News. She has also been the host of the CBN News original podcast The CBN News Daily Rundown. Some of her recent stories have focused on the Millennial generation, technology, and innovation. She joined CBN News in June 2010, starting as an Associate Producer but her ultimate goal was to report. In January 2014, all of her hard work paid off when she was promoted to her dream job of being a reporter. She graduated from Harding University in 2008 with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism. Caitlin began