Panel to examine free speech at Constitution Week discussion

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University will explore issues surrounding the First Amendment and its role in society in a guest panel to celebrate the beginning of Constitution Week.

Titled ‘Free Expression and the Constitution,’ the discussion is being co-sponsored by the regional chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Panelists are Nicki Boudreaux, instructor of mass communication; Dr. Linda Martin, assistant professor of mass communication; Dr. Joseph Thysell Jr., professor of government; and Mark Plaisance, a local attorney who successfully argued Miller Montgomery v. the State of Louisiana before the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015.

“I think the topic of this year’s event is especially timely because there has been so much discussion about the role played by the media in our cultural, economic and political systems,” said Dr. James Stewart, department head of mass communications. “There are organizations creating fabricated content, violence at public rallies and attempts to keep speakers off of college campuses. The ability to communicate freely is fundamental to a democratic society.”

The panel will be held at noon on Monday, Sept. 18 in Le Bijou Theater, and is free and open to the public.