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Ohio State University Extension


Guidance and Preparation for Interactions with First Amendment Activists 

We have recently been made aware of First Amendment Activists/Auditors visiting county Extension offices. These individuals visit public office buildings to record interactions with the intent to provoke a response that they believe will violate their First Amendment rights. In anticipation of more widespread visits, and to assist you in these situations, we are sharing important guidance on how to handle these interactions. 

The FAQs outlined here are designed to help employees understand their rights and responsibilities when interacting with First Amendment activists, ensuring you can manage these interactions professionally and effectively. Please take a moment to review the documents, which includes the steps you should take if you encounter these individuals. 

Preparing Extension Offices  
Clearly identifying spaces that are off-limits to the public without authorization is an important step you should take now to prepare your Extension office.  

Identify which spaces in your building are clearly “public” or “intended for public use.”  

Examples of public areas include waiting rooms, front desk locations, and potentially conference rooms (if usually used for public interactions).  

Examples of non-public would include personal offices, work/breakrooms.  

One of these signs should be printed and posted on any door/access point where you would not want the public to enter and that are generally not public spaces.  

In addition to signage, doors that are not for public access should remain locked when not in use.  

For additional questions or concerns on placement, contact Seth Walker, CFAES Director of Safety and Compliance,, 330.263-3665.