Spotlight on Senior Barred from Graduating Ceremonies Due to Facebook Comment

By on June 3, 2011

Torch readers will recall that Saint Augustine’s College (SAC) in North Carolina refused to allow student Roman Caple to participate in its graduation ceremonies this year due to an innocuous Facebook post about how the college was handling its recovery from tornado damage.

Fortunately, the story of Caple’s ordeal and FIRE’s principled defense of his individual rights has been picked up by many news venues. Marc Parry’s article in The Chronicle of Higher Education included a quote from Robert:

While it promises free speech, Saint Augustine’s College has apparently rolled out a brand new, unwritten “don’t challenge our decisions on Facebook” rule that warrants keeping a student out of graduation ceremonies…. It’s hard to think of a pettier way to punish a loyal, graduating student for publicly disagreeing with administrators.

Caroline May of The Daily Caller and James Sprague of The News Record, the independent student newspaper at the University of Cincinnati, also noted FIRE’s involvement in the case. May’s article was reprinted by Yahoo! News. MSNBC also planned to interview Caple this morning, but the interview has been postponed.

FIRE thanks these journalists for exposing SAC’s ludicrous actions. Sunlight is said to be one of the best disinfectants, and FIRE plans to keep the light focused on SAC until it brings justice for Roman Caple.

Schools: St. Augustine’s College Cases: Saint Augustine’s College: Student Prohibited from Walking at Graduation Due to Facebook Post