‘Free speech’ incident draws response from JCC president

‘Free speech’ incident draws response from JCC president
Jefferson Community College

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - A demonstration by members of a church on the campus of Jefferson Community College Friday drew a sharp response from JCC President Dr. Ty Stone.

A JCC official said members of a church - it wasn’t immediately known which church - demonstrated in the college’s designated free speech area by the clock tower on campus.

The official said some of what the demonstrators said concerned how others should live their lives.

In a subsequent statement the college said “The campus has an area designated for peaceful assembly and/or protest. Three individuals came to campus today to utilize the space and share their message. We do not believe the three individuals are associated with the College. We have no comment on the nature of their remarks.”

“I am aware that the viewpoints expressed today were upsetting to many,” Dr. Stone said in an email to students.

Stone noted “Jefferson is an inclusive community where all are welcome,” but she also cautioned “We must be diligent in our efforts to recognize when free speech crosses the line and becomes threatening hate speech.”

“We are a community where civility, kindness and respect for one another is not only valued, but is an expectation.”

Watertown city police said they were called to the campus at 12:30 PM on a report of a ‘disorderly subject,’ but it wasn’t clear Friday evening whether the demonstration and the police report were connected.

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