Fordham University: Student Banned from Campus, Placed on Probation After Instagram Photo Commemorating Tiananmen Square Massacre

Category: Cases, Free Speech
Schools: Fordham University

Student Austin Tong, a Chinese-American immigrant, posted an Instagram photo of himself holding a gun in his backyard on the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, as well as a separate post critiquing what he saw as a nonchalant response to the homicide of retired St. Louis Police Chief David Dorn. In response to these posts, Fordham found him responsible for violating its policies prohibiting “Threats/Intimidation” and “Bias and/or Hate Crimes.” FIRE wrote to Fordham on July 17, 2020, calling for the university to uphold its legally-binding public commitments to free expression and rescind its punishment of Tong.