JSU earns consecutive top free speech rating from FIRE



Free-SpeechJackson State has once again earned the highest “green light” rating from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

A green light rating indicates that none of a university’s written policies seriously imperil protected expression. A total of 56 colleges and universities (11.7% of those surveyed) earned an overall green light rating, up from 50 schools as of last year’s report.

Earlier this year, Jackson State became the fourth historically black college to earn the rating. 

In 2016, Jackson State started working with FIRE to revise its policies. Updating a student decorum policy prohibiting certain language on clothing are among some of those changes.

FIRE rates more than 470 institutions nationwide to determine whether their policies restrict speech protected by the Constitution.  Of the 478 schools reviewed by FIRE, 102, or 21.3%, received a red-light rating. Three hundred and twelve schools received a yellow light rating (65.3%), and 56 received a green light rating (11.7%). Eight schools earned a warning rating (1.7%).

A total of 56 colleges and universities now earn an overall “green light” rating, up from 50 schools as of last year’s report. Policies earn a green light rating when they do not seriously threaten protected expression.