Gonna make this as short as possible. Got a parking ticket at my university one morning, the same morning I was to buy a $100 parking permit for the semester. Of course they don't excuse it so I'm out an extra $50 on top of the $100 for about 1 hour of parking. Driving back from trying to get it excused (they refuse), I see a parking officer perched near where I park. I flipped him off while getting out of my car, then kept walking. Nothing more.
That was two months ago, and I've been contacted by Judicial Affairs about certain allegations being made against me by Parking & Transportation Services, relating to what is apparently now an "incident".tl;dr
- Flipped off state university parking cop, being charged with breach of conduct code for making an "obscene gesture".
On to my question, isn't this protected under the First Amendment? They're calling it an "obscene gesture", and that I violated this provision
(6) Disorderly, lewd, indecent, or obscene behavior at a University related activity, or directed towards a member of the University community.
but at the bottom of the conduct code it states that nothing within it can violate California Education Code Section 66301, the pertinent sections of which are below
(a) Neither the Regents of the University of California, the
Trustees of the California State University, the governing board of
a community college district, nor an administrator of any campus of
those institutions, shall make or enforce a rule subjecting a student
to disciplinary sanction solely on the basis of conduct that is
speech or other communication that, when engaged in outside a campus
of those institutions, is protected from governmental restriction by
the First Amendment to the United States Constitution or Section 2 of
Article I of the California Constitution.
(d) This section does not prohibit the imposition of discipline
for harassment, threats, or intimidation, unless constitutionally
So regarding part a), the middle finger has been protected as Free Speech in the courts around the country. I've found at least a half dozen or so by simply googling "middle finger and free speech". Obscene speech and "fighting words" are the only things not protected as free speech, of which the middle finger is neither and the courts agree.
Can the university arbitrarily include the middle finger in their definition of harassment, even when it has not been "outside a campus of those institutions"? Can I fight this on the basis of first amendment rights or am I missing the part that allows them to strip me of those rights while on their property?