High School Student to Brody: I Won’t Attend Johns Hopkins

December 14, 2006

FIRE was cc’d on the following e-mail sent to Johns Hopkins President William Brody. The sender is a student who was considering attending Johns Hopkins University until he received word that Johns Hopkins had suspended student Justin Park for posting party advertisements on Facebook.com that offended some students. The e-mail read as follows:

I have to inform you that because of Justin Park’s suspension and Johns Hopkins’ obvious disregard for the students’ moral freedom of expression rights, I have sadly crossed Johns Hopkins off my list of 1st choice schools. As a student with a keen interest in law (I’m hoping to major in international politics next year), I find what Johns Hopkins has done to Justin Park and your reasoning for it in the Gazette to be extremely absurd. I am not going to get down to the details, but I can tell you that I brought this issue forward to my Amnesty International club after school as well as my AP European History Class’ current events discussion. The entire student body involved as well as my teachers are in agreement that Justin Park has not made an offensive speech with respect to race, and if he had made the same party advertisement and decorations in my high school, my teacher and vice-principal would not have punished him for it.

Unfortunately for Johns Hopkins, FIRE has been receiving many e-mails from potential students expressing similar sentiments. And rightfully so—our nation’s brightest students should expect better treatment from our best universities than what Justin Park has received at the hands of William Brody and Johns Hopkins University.

Schools:  Johns Hopkins University

Cases:  Johns Hopkins University: Student Punished for Party Invitation