Media Reactions Regarding Benchmark Student Speech Victory Continue

By on September 14, 2010

Former Valdosta State University (VSU) student Hayden Barnes’ federal court victory has continued to perk up media moguls’ ears. As we’ve reported, Barnes’ First Amendment and due process rights were violated when his peaceful protest against former VSU president Ronald Zaccari’s plan to spend $30 million of student fee money on new parking garages got him kicked out of school in 2007. Judge Charles A. Pannell Jr.’s Sept. 3 order held Zaccari personally liable for damages against Barnes, and the media aren’t wary of calling him out for it.

Since Barnes’ victory, Torch and Valdosta Daily Times readers know Zaccari has been striving to save face, slighting the facts of his loss in a comically twisted manner. The Times article, which made the front page of the print edition, breaks down Barnes’ case, highlighting his triumph over Zaccari from start to finish.

WorldNetDaily‘s Bob Unruh also chronicles the steps that led to Barnes’ unlawful expulsion, noting again that Zaccari repeatedly ignored the advice of VSU officials:

Another series of meetings followed at which Zaccari repeatedly was told there were no grounds for worry and that if there was any action taken, the student deserved "due process," including being told what rules he allegedly violated.

The article also displays the collage that appeared on Barnes’ Facebook account, depicting pictures of Zaccari, a parking deck, and the caption "S.A.V.E.Zaccari Memorial Parking Garage"; the collage that prompted Zaccari to claim Barnes a "clear and present danger" to both Zaccari and the VSU campus.

The Spectator, VSU’s indepedent student newspaper, further illuminates that Judge Pannell "believes that Dr. Zaccari didn’t follow the advice given from his lawyers about the requirements taken to remove a student either in its front page article." Both All Headline News and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution briefly captured Barnes’ tribulations as well.

We will, as usual, keep Torch readers up to speed as news of Barnes’ milestone continues to make its way through the wires.

Schools: Valdosta State University