A free speech nonprofit organization is suing a Mississippi community college after campus police stopped students from tabling on campus and even took them into a police station.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is suing Jones County Junior College because of a policy that requires groups to fill out paperwork before “gathering for any purpose” on campus, according to a news release.
The policy became an issue when Jones County Junior College student Mike Brown and other Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) activists polled students on campus in April to see if they support the legalization of recreational marijuana. However, according to FIRE, the YAL members were quickly stopped by campus police, all because paperwork was not filled out before the event.
The campus police even took Brown into the station, according to the lawsuit.
When Brown asked the campus police officer what policy they violated, she replied: “That’s illegal, first of all, and you’re on a school campus.”
According to the lawsuit, Stan Livingston, chief of campus police, told Brown that he was “smarter than that [violating the policy].”
“Some people get in trouble for smoking weed, but at Jones College, I got in trouble just for trying to talk about it,” Brown said, according to FIRE. “College is for cultivating thought and learning and encouraging civil discourse with your peers. That’s not what’s happening at Jones College.”
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