Jackson State University

Location: Jackson, Mississippi
Website: http://www.jsums.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 5th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Jackson State University has been given the speech code rating Red. A red light university has at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech. Read more here.

This school does not have any cases at this time.

Red Light Policies

  • Student Handbook: Student Code of Conduct- Violations & Sanctions 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility

    Disorderly conduct is any offensive or annoying act that disrupts the peace. … It includes, but is not limited to conduct which is offensive or annoying to others or is disruptive to the rights of others.

    Distribution of printed materials that are libelous, derogatory, scurrilous, sexually explicit, pornographic, or that encourages violations of public laws or University regulations.

    Conduct, which is disorderly, lewd, indecent and/or portrayed on the premises of the university or at University sponsored or supervised activities will not be tolerated. Such acts include the use of obscene gestures, improper body exposures, stripping, vulgar language to or in the vicinity of students, staff members, administrators, or faculty or visitors of the University.

    An act of baseness, vileness or depravity which brings shame to the University and is in contradiction to the letter and spirit of the University’s Code of Conduct, good citizenship and ethics.

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  • Student Handbook: Student Code of Conduct- Harassment 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    The excessive physical annoyance of or the use of verbally abusive language by any person on University-owned or controlled property or while on the premises of, or while in attendance of University-sponsored or supervised events is considered to be harassment and is prohibited. The scope of any form of harassment includes language to physical acts which degrades, insult, taunt, or challenges another person by any means of communication, verbal, so as to provoke a violent response, communication of threat, defamation of character, use of profanity, verbal assaults, derogatory comments or remarks, sexist remarks, racists remarks or any behavior that places another member of the University community in a state of fear or anxiety.

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  • Student Handbook: Student Code of Conduct- Sexual Harassment 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Regardless of sexual gender, personal affiliation, and/or affiliation with the University, sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome and unsolicited sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal, visual or physical conduct or communication with sexual overtones that the victim deems offensive. Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to unsolicited, deliberate, or repeated sexual flirtation, advances or propositions; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; display of sexually suggestive pictures or objects; and/or offensive or abusive physical contact of a sexual nature.

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Yellow Light Policies
  • Student Handbook: Student Rights and Responsibilities 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies

    Approval from the Associate Vice President for Student Life or his/her designee is required for assembly and demonstration. The Associate Vice President for Student Life designates areas for demonstration on a first come first assigned basis.

    Students are free to publish and to distribute their ideas in the form of newspapers, newsletters, leaflets, handbills, and the like, subject to time, place and manner restrictions. Publications are disseminated in the designated free expression area(s) on the campus.

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  • Student Handbook: Student Decorum Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility

    The Jackson State University Student Handbook sets forth expectations and guidelines for appropriate student decorum, and this policy is put in place as a supplement to clarify and extend the dress code as well as the proscription against the use of inappropriate language.

    Prohibited Language

    This policy does not prohibit language based on the expressive viewpoint of one’s ideas, but rather proscribes certain language based on the disruptive or destructive manner and context in which such language is used.

    Lewdness and Obscenity

    Lewd and obscene language is prohibited.

    Fighting Words

    Language that by its very utterance tends to incite an immediate breach of the peace or imminent lawless action is prohibited. These words include those which when directed to the person of the hearer would naturally tend to provoke violent resentment. Such words also include those personally abusive epithets which, when addressed to the ordinary citizen, are, as a matter of common knowledge, inherently likely to provoke violent reaction.

    Profanity

    Profane, vulgar, and curse words are prohibited in limited contexts although their use is widely discouraged by the University. The proscription against profanity shall only regulate the manner of such speech rather than the content of any message conveyed. Profanity may subject a person to discipline when it lacks any artistic or literary value in connection with a University curriculum, it inherently tends to provoke a violent reaction, and it substantially interferes with the educational environment.

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  • Student Handbook: Philosophy of Student Conduct and Discipline 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes

    Behavior, which is not in keeping with standards acceptable to the University community, is often symptomatic of attitudes, misconceptions, and emotional crises; addressing these attitudes, misconceptions, and emotional crises through education is an essential part of the disciplinary process.

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Green Light Policies
  • Student Handbook: Student Rights and Responsibilities 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    As an academic community, Jackson State University exists for the pursuit of learning and truth, for the development of students as scholars and citizens, and ultimately, for the well being of society. Free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the attainment of these goals.

    Students at Jackson State University are both private citizens and members of the University community. As U.S. citizens, students enjoy the same freedom of speech, peaceful assembly, and right of petition that other citizens enjoy.

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This school does not have any media coverage at this time.
  • In Mississippi, ‘The Clarion-Ledger’ Reports on Dangers of State Colleges’ Speech Codes

    August 16, 2010

    In today’s edition of The Clarion-Ledger, the Jackson, Mississippi newspaper reports on speech codes maintained at public colleges statewide. Spurred by FIRE’s recent victory at nearby Hinds Community College, reporter Elizabeth Crisp writes: Students at Mississippi universities may have to watch what they say more than those in other states because of policies that free-speech advocates say are oppressive. At Ole Miss, someone could theoretically get in trouble for sending an e-mail about how much they “hate” rival Mississippi State. Jackson State students could be punished for unsolicited flirting. Speaking freely outside so-called “free-speech zones” on most of the campuses […]

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  • Speech Code of the Month: Jackson State University

    August 1, 2008

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for August 2008: Jackson State University in Mississippi. Jackson State’s harassment policy provides, in relevant part, that: The scope of any form of harassment includes language to physical acts which degrades, insult, taunt, or challenges another person by any means of communication, verbal, so as to provoke a violent response, communication of threat, defamation of character, use of profanity, verbal assaults, derogatory comments or remarks, sexist remarks, racists remarks or any behavior that places another member of the University community in a state of fear or anxiety. Got that? Yeah, me neither. […]

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