Conduct unbecoming

December 3, 2006

The indomitable Foundation for Individual Rights in Education reports that a student at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md. has been suspended for a year for posting Halloween party invitations on facebook.com that some on campus found offensive.

The university found 18-year-old junior Justin Park guilty of failing to respect the rights of others, harassment, and intimidation for posting ads for a fraternity’s “Halloween in the Hood” party that contained “offensive racial stereotyping.”

He was also charged with “failing to respect the rights of others” and engaging in “conduct or a pattern of conduct that harasses a person or group.”

“Jeopardizing a student’s entire academic career because some students were offended by a joke is not just unfair—it’s cruel,” FIRE Director of Legal and Public Advocacy Samantha Harris said. “Hopkins should teach its students that the way we deal with speech we dislike in a free society is with more speech, not with severe and life-altering punishment.”
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Schools: Johns Hopkins University Cases: Johns Hopkins University: Student Punished for Party Invitation