Student Handbook: Student Decorum Policy

Relevant excerpt

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.

This Decorum Policy shall be applied without discrimination in regard to the viewpoint embodied in a student’s dress or language, and it shall be applied to all students on an equal basis. Further, this policy is limited in time and place to University functions and educational facilities, specifically including classrooms. It is strongly encouraged, but not required, that these guidelines be followed elsewhere in an effort to provide a positive representation of ourselves and the University to the best of our abilities.

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. This includes, but is not limited to words used to provoke and altercation and profanity.

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.

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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