A group of Temple University journalism students received an unexpected lesson today in how overzealous enforcement could temporarily trample their First Amendment rights in a public space.

About 10 students crossed 15th Street from the Temple University Center City campus to the newly reopened Dilworth Park on City Hall's western apron, planning to shoot video to edit when they returned to class.

Staff members from the Center City District, which manages the park, told the students they could not shoot video without prior approval.

"They said it was privately managed so we were not allowed to film," said senior Nicholas Cutrona, who had set up a camera and tripod to interview people in the park.

Paul Levy, president and CEO of the Center City District, said the park staff mistakenly enforced a policy about no filming that was in place when the park was an active construction site.  The park opened to the public on Thursday.

The confusion continued when Associate Professor George Miller III -- a former Daily News staffer -- called the Center City District for his students and was told videotaping was allowed for private but not professional use.

Levy said prior approval is only required from the city only for "any professional film company that seeks to film for any duration in any public park."  Levy asked Miller to apologize to the students on behalf of the Center City District for the inconvenience.