By Abby Jackson at Business Insider
Thaddeus Pryor, a junior at Colorado College, was barred from stepping foot on campus for six months for a social media post,the Colorado Springs Gazette reported.
On the social media app Yik Yak, a post read “#blackwomenmatter.” Pryor responded with, “They matter, they’re just not hot.”
Pryor says he immediately regretted his remark. “I was ashamed, because some people were clearly upset,” Pryor told The College Fix. “So I deleted it.”
But the damage had already been done. The next day the student center was filled with banners of many of the racial comments posted to Yik Yak — including Pryor’s post.
Pryor went before the school’s student life disciplinary panel where he was accused of posting almost all of the offensive posts, The College Fix reported.
Yik Yak is an anonymous social media app that lets people post, or “yak,” to people in a 10-mile radius. Pryor admitted to the school’s administration that he was behind the post about black women, but said he was not the author of any of the other posts.
The school initially suspended Pryor for 21 months, lessening the sentence to six months after his request for an appeal. However, the school refused to give him a new hearing.
“I have considered your request carefully, and I see no grounds for appeal. In your own words, you accepted responsibility for your comment, which you deemed hurtful and distasteful, and stated you deserve to be held accountable for your actions,” a Colorado College official wrote Pryor in a letter posted by the College Fix.
Pryor’s suspension is already drawing criticism from free speech advocates.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) sent a letter to the college asking it to “honor its moral and contractual obligation to keep the promises of freedom of expression that it makes to students,” according to the Gazette.
“What was intended to be a joke on social media completely contradicts the school’s promises of freedom of speech,” FIRE wrote.