Johnson C. Smith University: Students Accused of Criminal Conspiracy Told Not to Speak Out


Johnson C. Smith University

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Case Overview


In May 2017, Johnson C. Smith University accused students of participating in a widespread “criminal conspiracy” involving allegedly fraudulent transactions on their meal plans — and ordered the students not to speak to anyone about it. This instruction chilled their right to speak out publicly — or privately to an attorney — about a matter of public controversy. FIRE wrote to the university’s president on May 23, calling on the institution to retract its breathtaking gag order. The university failed to respond to FIRE’s letter.