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Texas A&M wins best-in-state award for free speech policies

Campus watchdog group gives school full marks after policy changes

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education recently announced Texas A&M University as the best school in Texas for free speech, becoming the only university in that state to hold the highest free speech grade from the prominent higher ed watchdog group.

The school “is the lone institution in the Lone Star State that earns FIRE’s highest rating for respecting constitutionally protected speech rights,” the group announced this week.

That rating—a “green light”—has been awarded to just under four dozen schools across the country. FIRE reports that Texas A&M began working with the organization after receiving a “yellow light” rating, a grade which signifies the school’s policies “are vague enough that they could restrict constitutionally protected expression.”

Texas A&M, with “almost 70,000 students,” is “the largest campus in the nation to earn FIRE’s green light rating,” the group reports.

“A free exchange of ideas is not only a cornerstone of our democracy, it is the surest path to truth, discovery and scholarly advancement,” Texas A&M President Michael Young told FIRE.

According to FIRE’s grading criteria, a red light rating indicates that the school in question “has at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech.” A green light, on the other hand, is awarded “if a college or university’s policies do not seriously imperil speech.”

Read the announcement here.

MORE: Nine out of 10 universities restrict free speech

IMAGE: Robert Kneschke / Shutterstock.com

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