Saint Louis Community College: Student Punished for E-mailing Classmates


Saint Louis Community College at Meramec

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Case Overview

FIRE Victory closed

Having already completed his Ph.D at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and postdoctoral work at M.I.T and Columbia University, Jun Xiao was attending St. Louis Community College to prepare himself for medical school. Unhappy with the performance of his organic chemistry professor, Dr. Xiao sent an e-mail to several of his fellow students stating that he intended to withdraw from the course and suggesting that his fellow students do the same. A few days after this e-mail and without any notice or a hearing, Xiao received an e-mail from an administrator stating that he had been placed on "Disciplinary Probation" for, "hazing, disorderly conduct, breach of the peace, and failure to comply with directions of a college official." FIRE intervened on behalf of Xiao, demanding that the school respect his basic due process rights. With the assistance of the American Civil Liberties Union, Dr. Xiao was completely exonerated of all charges and all discipline charges removed from his file.