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Politics

Free speech bill withdrawn after Islamic State comments

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capitol.tn.gov
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A bill calling for more free speech rights at public colleges and universities in Tennessee has been withdrawn after the sponsor said it would allow Islamic State recruiters to operate on campuses.

Republican Rep. Martin Daniel of Knoxville was challenged Wednesday about the impact that his "Tennessee Student Free Speech Protection Act" would have on campuses.

Democratic Rep. John Deberry of Memphis asked whether it would go so far as to allow people to stand in the middle of campus and "recruit for ISIS."

Daniel responded that it would, "so long as it doesn't disrupt the proceedings on that campus."

“As long as they’re not harassing someone or disrupting the educational process on a campus I believe students should be able to say what they want, whether it’s regarding diversity, or diversity, or sex week…”

After that exchange, the Republican chairman of the panel, Rep. Mark White of Memphis, abruptly moved to have the bill taken off notice for the year.