Free Speech Debate Over Street Preacher At UNC Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A debate is brewing over free speech on the campus of UNC Charlotte.

Students are protesting a street preacher they say is spewing hate speech.

The University says it’s a free speech issue.

Students protested on campus Wednesday, saying the preacher is verbally assaulting students.

UNC Charlotte released the statement below:

“The individual being referred to is a type of evangelistic or “street” preacher who routinely visits college and university campuses to publicly preach. The individual was not invited to campus, and his views should not be interpreted as the views of the University.

We understand that he may be upsetting to members of our community. As a public university, UNC Charlotte cannot restrict speech based solely on its content, including content that others may view as objectionable.

The University has established protocols to create and sustain an environment where freedom of speech and expression is supported regardless of the viewpoint of the speaker. We are currently reviewing those protocols to include additional reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on speech events to ensure such events do not hinder normal University operations.”