Judge rules student can have religious messages on Valentines Day card

Chief Judge William C. Griesbach rules in favor of Polly Olsen and her message on Valentines Day cards

Chief Judge William C. Griesbach of the Eastern District of Wisconsin ruled in favor of the NWTC student, Polly Olsen, in her lawsuit involving religious messages in her Valentine’s Day cards citing Freedom of Speech. 

“It’s been a long battle and I was very happy to see that the judge saw that the little messages on here are just like having a conversation saying have a good day,” said Polly Olsen. 

The federal judge declared the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College to have violated Olsen’s First Amendment rights. 

Olsen had distributed cards that had such messages as “Jesus Loves You!,” “You are Loved!” and “You are never alone!.”

Hon. Griesbach’s ruling reads that there was no doubt that Olsen’s expression was constitutionally protected while she was handing out hand-made Valentine’s cards to her friends, staff, and fellow students at the NWTC and that her action was similar to “hand billing”. 

Olsen is set to receive a dollar as compensation. However, she claims the lawsuit to never be about money, but protecting Freedom of Speech.

The lawsuit was filed by Olsen and the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty on Feb. 14th, 2018 when she was stopped by campus security for allegedly violating Public Assembly Policy of NWTC. 

This was after someone complained to the security on receiving one of the hand-made cards that referenced verses and included messages from the Bible which many people believe the most powerful book written of all time. 

Olsen moved forward with the lawsuit when NWTC maintained that the enforcement of the Public Assembly Policy was constitutional and lawful. 


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