Rescinding admissions offers is draconian measure

When at least a dozen colleges and universities rescinded admissions offers to students who posted racist material, the step was hailed as wholly justified (“Colleges Rescinding Admissions Offers as Racist Social Media Posts Emerge,” The New York Times, July 3).  I maintain that the punishment does not fit the crime.

I say that because in all cases the students apologized.  Who has not said something that they later regret?  Moreover, the decision to handle the matter was largely the result of whether the institutions were public or private.  Private schools are not bound by the First Amendment, while public schools are.  I fail to see why such a distinction is made.  That’s because both teach the same students.

Young people in particular can be rehabilitated.  The attitudes they held at one point in their lives often change with the passage of time as they mature.  Unfortunately, when it comes to racial issues we forget this.

(To post a comment, click on the title of this blog.)

2 Replies to “Rescinding admissions offers is draconian measure”

  1. Completely wrong for colleges (state or private) to discriminate against an applicant based on the views expressed in the applicant’s speech. Free speech — whether constitutionally-mandated at a state college or traditionally-mandated at a private college — is a bedrock principle of higher education in the US.

    For colleges to do so now in response to the Black Lives Matter social protest movement is analogous to colleges doing so in the 1940s/early 1950s in response to McCarthyism. Today’s politically-correct views might well become tomorrow’s despised (or at least clearly erroneous) views.


  2. Labor Lawyer: Free speech in higher education is a myth. Anyone who dares express views that do not toe the party line is attacked. It makes a mockery of free speech.


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