University of Georgia: Teaching Assistant Investigated for Speech Critical of White People


University of Georgia

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Case Overview

FIRE Victory closed

In September 2018, a University of Georgia (UGA) student confronted a UGA graduate teaching assistant, Irami Osei-Frimpong, at a Young Democrats meeting, criticizing the lecturer for tweets and Facebook posts that the student found objectionable. Four months later, after UGA had concluded that the teaching assistant’s posts were made in his capacity as a private citizen and took no action, the now-graduated student posted a video of his confrontation, which went viral. After UGA reversed course and initiated an investigation with the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Georgia, FIRE wrote to UGA on January 25, 2019, in defense of the graduate teaching assistant’s First Amendment rights. FIRE wrote again, with the ACLU of Georgia and PEN America, after Osei-Frimpong was charged with offenses relating to his application to attend UGA. After a hearing panel ruled in Osei-Frimpong’s favor, FIRE again wrote UGA, calling on the university to reaffirm its commitment to freedom of expression.