A nonprofit free speech group says a Johns Hopkins University student who was suspended for a year for writing an invitation to a fraternity “Halloween in the Hood” party has had his punishment reduced after an appeal.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has been advocating on behalf of Justin Park, who posted the invitation on the Web site Facebook. The posting described Baltimore as an “H-I-V pit” and urged guests to wear “bling bling ice ice, grills” and “hoochie hoops.” A skeleton pirate with dreadlocks hanging from a noose was used as decoration at the Sigma Chi fraternity party October 28th.
Members of the university’s black student union held a rally to protest the event. University President William Brody issued a statement shortly after the party, saying he was “personally offended” and calling it “deeply disturbing.” Foundation President Greg Lukianoff says Park was “satisfied with the outcome of his appeal,” but Park shouldn’t be punished at all for exercising his right to free speech.
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Johns Hopkins University