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Alcorn State becomes second historically black college nationwide to protect student speech

Mississippi and North Carolina lead the country

If you attend an historically black college or university, there’s a good chance what you can say is tightly regulated and subject to investigation, if not explicit punishment.

If you want to attend an HBCU and free speech is important to you, only two schools match your criteria.

This week Mississippi’s Alcorn State joined North Carolina Central University as the only HBCUs to earn a “green light” rating from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, meaning their written policies “nominally protect free speech.”

They share another distinction: Their states lead the country in the number of green-light schools each has, 11 for North Carolina and five for Mississippi.

According to FIRE, Alcorn State worked with FIRE to revise problematic policies that impinged on student speech. It removed a 48-hour registration requirement from a demonstration policy and implemented a cyberbullying policy in line with “the Supreme Court’s definition of student-on-student harassment,” among other changes, FIRE said.

“Alcorn State University is strongly committed to promoting a vibrant campus environment where the principles of academic freedom, freedom of expression and rigorous debate flourishes,” said Tracy Cook, the university’s vice president for student affairs, in FIRE’s statement.

Read the post.

MORE: Even national leader North Carolina has a lot of anti-speech colleges

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Greg spent several years as a technology policy reporter and editor for Warren Communications News in Washington, D.C., and guest host on C-SPAN’s “The Communicators.” He co-founded the alternative newspaper PUNCH and served as a reporter, editor and columnist for The Falcon at Seattle Pacific University.

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