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Police officers using nightsticks push people away from the Occupy Portland encampment Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011, in, Portland, Ore. In a tense escalation of the Occupy Portland protest, police in riot gear Sunday surrounded demonstrators in a downtown park area after hundreds of people defied the mayor's order to leave the park by midnight. By early afternoon, officers had mostly surrounded the camp where the protesters were holding a "general assembly" meeting to discuss their next moves following the eviction order. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

If this new law gets approved, colleges could expel students convicted of rioting


If this new law gets approved, colleges could expel students convicted of rioting

Watch| Get reaction to a controversial bill that could have a huge affect on freedom of speech

An Oregon lawmaker wants a new law to give schools the ability to expel students caught rioting.

Republican State Sen. Kim Thatcher’s Senate Bill 540 would require Oregon community colleges and state universities to expel students convicted of riot crimes. The American Civil Liberties Union calls the proposal inconsistent with Oregon values.

“Something like riot is broad and open to interpretation,” Matt Dos Santos, with the Oregon chapter of the ACLU, told affiliate KATU.

His organization is watching the legislation closely. "There are already existing penalties for things like vandalism or violence and we're also now trying to strip away people's rights to go to school?" said Dos Santos.

Students are also concerned, especially at a campus as socially active as Portland State University, where a protest Thursday night against a police shooting and killing last week of a 17-year-old boy. Police said Quanice Hayes was a robbery suspect who turned out to have been armed with a fake gun.

Here's video from the most recent riot on the PSU campus.

Students react to proposed law

“I think that it should be the duty of the college to decide who gets to attend and who gets kicked out,” PSU student Tyler Miller told KATU.

“And I think that that’s wrong, and they shouldn’t feel afraid to speak their minds if they want to,” said PSU student Vanessa Rodgers.

Tell Us What You Think|  Send us a video with your opinion on protests and freedom of speech,


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