Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University: Student Punished for Booing at a Soccer Game

Category: Free Speech
Schools: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

At a Virginia Tech women’s soccer match on September 26, Senior Associate Athletics Director Reyna Gilbert-Lowry asked student Sean Lohr to “tone it down” after he yelled at a referee. Lohr called her “a glorified PE [physical education] teacher” and exhorted the crowd to jeer her. Gilbert-Lowry then directed campus security to remove him from the event. Lohr was found responsible for “Disorderly or Disruptive Conduct” on October 22. FIRE wrote to Virginia Tech on December 7 calling for the university to rescind its punishment of Lohr for engaging in protected, non-disruptive expression at the match.