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Florida college squelches student’s editorial article on same-sex restrooms

A Historic City News contributor, Hannah Bleau, is a journalism student at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla. She is conservative, and recently completed a summer internship with Daily Caller in Washington, DC.

In November, Bleau authored a feature article that ran on both The Gargoyle, a student-produced magazine at Flagler College, and Historic City News. The article was titled “Gender neutral shouldn’t be the new normal.” It still appears at Historic City News, although The Gargoyle has removed it from their website.

In the article, Bleau has apparently offended the LGBTQ+ community. She informed us that she has been targeted by other students, and certain faculty members, because of the critical opinions she expressed regarding same-sex restrooms on her co-ed campus.

Acceding to concerns expressed by “many students, their parents and Flagler College alumni,” Alexa Epitropoulos and Heather Seidel, co-editors of the Flagler College Gargoyle, have published a retraction of Bleau’s article as well as another student article.

Should student newspapers, magazines, or other publications report opinions of their writers? If the opinions are expressed in a civil tone, what injury is inflicted on an entire protected classes? What about protected speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution?

What message does this decision send to potential journalism students at Flagler, or the employers and potential employers of Flagler graduates eager to make their bones in journalism as a career?

Speech is not protected if we do no not protect the most offensive speech. This article was far from the most offensive that I have read, even by Gargoyle standards.

Michael Gold

St Augustine native, Michael Gold, is editor at Historic City News. He is an advocate for grassroots citizen journalism whose job is holding public figures accountable to the public. Founded on the Internet in March 2000, HCN has developed from a periodic newsletter, to an interactive platform, to a publication read by the area's most engaged citizens. Historic City News is focused on news originating from or having an impact on St Augustine and St Johns County. Contact by e-mail

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