By Peter Hancock at Lawrence Journal-World
TOPEKA — The Kansas Court of Appeals ruled Friday that Kansas University cannot expel a student for misconduct that occurs off campus, and it ordered Navid Yeasin to be reinstated as a student.
But the three-judge panel declined to answer one of the larger questions in the case: whether tweets and other forms of social media communication are forms of free speech protected by the U.S. and state constitutions.
Instead, the three-judge panel based its ruling on KU’s own Student Code, which generally applies only to conduct that occurs on campus or at university-sponsored events.
“The trouble is, the Student Code did not give the University authority to act when the misconduct occurred somewhere other than its campus or at University sponsored or supervised events,” Judge Stephen Hill wrote for the panel. “There is no proof in the record that Yeasin posted the tweets while he was on campus...