“I am pleased that Jones College was willing to work in good faith to align their policies with the First Amendment rights guaranteed to all of us, especially students on their campus”
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The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education scores another victory for free speech.
From the FIRE Blog:
VICTORY: Student stopped by campus police for holding up a sign settles First Amendment lawsuit with Mississippi college
Mississippi’s Jones College on Wednesday finalized a settlement with former student Michael Brown, who sued the college after administrators and campus police infringed on his First Amendment rights. Brown’s suit, filed with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, brings policy changes that will protect the speech rights of all Jones College students.
“I am pleased that Jones College was willing to work in good faith to align their policies with the First Amendment rights guaranteed to all of us, especially students on their campus,” said Brown. “Fighting for this reform is important to me because we all must have the ability to speak freely, otherwise how are we any better than other nations and regimes that restrict what their citizens may say?”
Brown was stopped from exercising his free speech rights on campus twice in early 2019 when he tried to recruit fellow students for a campus chapter of Young Americans for Liberty. In February 2019, administrators called campus police to stop Brown from rolling around a “free speech ball,” telling him he needed the college’s permission before engaging in expressive activity. Two months later, campus police stopped Brown from holding up a sign polling fellow students on marijuana legalization without permission. The campus police chief hauled him into his office and told him he should’ve been “smarter” than to exercise his First Amendment rights without the college’s permission.
Represented by FIRE, Brown sued Jones College in September 2019, challenging the college’s overly-restrictive speech codes, which required administrative approval and a minimum three-day waiting period before “gathering for any purpose” anywhere on campus.
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