Texas Christian University student disciplined over social media comments

Photo from: nypost.com

By Lisa Maria Garza

DALLAS (Reuters) – A Texas Christian University (TCU) student has been disciplined after posting online comments seen as racially offensive about current events, including rioting in Baltimore and the rise of the Islamic State, TCU officials said on Friday.

TCU said Harry Vincent, a 19-year-old sophomore, violated two Student Code of Conduct provisions concerning “infliction of bodily or emotional harm” and “disorderly conduct.”

He has seen his campus access restricted by receiving a one-year suspension from extra-curricular activities, on-campus living and the use of non-academic facilities such as the cafeteria and recreational center.

Among the comments are a Facebook post that reads: “These hoodrat criminals in Baltimore need to be shipped off and exiled to the sahara desert. Maybe then they’ll realize how much we provide for them (welfare, college tuition, obama’s phone’s, medicare, etc.).”

The comments were compiled by a childhood acquaintance from his native Maryland, posted on Tumblr with his social media handles and brought to the attention of the school.

“I’ve taken responsibility for the comments. I wrote them. I am sorry if the comments were offensive to anyone,” Vincent told Reuters on Friday.

“However, I still stand behind the fact that nothing I said was breaking a law and was protected under the Constitution.”

Vincent said his appeal of the suspension was denied and he has not decided yet on attending classes during the fall semester. A university spokeswoman said a federal privacy law prevents TCU from discussing details of a student’s disciplinary process.

“TCU expects its students to behave in a manner consistent with its mission, which is to educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in a global community,” the university said in a statement.

(Editing by Jon Herskovitz and Sandra Maler)