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Kansas Free-speech Case Finds KU And K-State On Opposite Sides

Kansas’ two biggest universities find themselves in opposite camps in a possibly pivotal case that pits the limits of free speech against educators’ efforts to protect students from sexual harassment.

It holds national implications and tests how far a school can, or must, go in order to police off-campus conduct and the virtual world of social media. 

The case, set to play out Tuesday in oral arguments before the state Court of Appeals in Topeka, could determine whether colleges end up in the business of policing students’ Twitter accounts and the like. Its precedent-setting potential has grabbed the attention of First Amendment watchdogs such as the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education Inc., the Student Press Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union.