A Christian graduate student at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville sued her college last Tuesday after the University allegedly issued three no-contact orders against her for expressing her conservative political opinions.
“I was alarmed when I had received three no-contact orders that prevented me from having direct or indirect communication with these three students,” Art therapy student Maggie Dejong said Friday on “Fox & Friends First.”
“Essentially, they were restraining orders that applied to on and off-campus,” Dejong explained.
No-contact orders and no-communication orders are restrictions the University imposes on students to prevent one from trying to communicate with the other directly or indirectly.
Mainly used for Title IX cases involving sexual misconduct and harassment, Dejong’s case has shown how these orders can be abused.
Toward the last year of her three-year graduate degree program, Jamie Ball, the University’s director for Equal Opportunity, Access and Title IX Coordination, hit Dejong with three no-contact orders on behalf of three students who were upset with Dejong’s political convictions.
Ball informed Dejong about the orders’ issuances in a series of emails on February 10, according to a copy of the original lawsuit shared on conservative legal advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom’s website.
ADF, an organization that has been on the front line in defending free speech on campus, is helping Dejong with her litigation against her University.
Although the no-contact orders were rescinded on February 28 after Dejong sent a letter to her University from an attorney, they were imposed again in March.
The Title IX coordination director warned Dejong that she was allowed to have “no contact” or no “indirect communications” with the three students and that if she disregarded the no-contact orders, she could face repercussions, the lawsuit stated.
Speaking to Fox News host Ashley Strohmier, Dejong’s lawyer and ADF senior counsel Tyson Langhoffer said that the University issued the orders even though she “never violated any university policy.”
“Yet the university issued no-contact orders against her, prohibiting her from fully participating in classes, including discussions about race relations and the police, simply because they deemed her or her beliefs as unwelcome,” Langhoffer said.
Some of the complaints other students had against her, based on which the University issued the no-contact orders, include a student complaining of religious discrimination and harassment because Dejong discussed the rapture in a conversation at Dejong’s apartment, according to the lawsuit.
Other complaints, according to the lawsuit, include those of students in the art therapy program feeling “emotional damage” because Dejong uploaded stories on her Instagram account, according to the lawsuit.
Those stories expressed support for pro-life, anti-critical race theory and anti-censorship causes and showed support for Kyle Rittenhouse, the lawsuit said.
The complaints also included students being unhappy over Dejong wearing a “Back the Blue” pro-police hat to class, according to Fox News.
“Universities can’t issue no-contact orders and tell students they can’t speak with other students simply for expressing their views,” Langhoffer said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.