Monday, January 21, 2008

Back to School for Outspoken Student :: Inside Higher Ed :: Jobs, News and Views for All of Higher Education

T. Hayden Barnes, the Valdosta (Georgia) State University student who was "administratively withdrawn" from the school has been reinstated. Here is the Inside Higher Ed article:
Months after first reviewing the expulsion of a student activist from Valdosta State University, the Georgia Board of Regents agreed to allow T. Hayden Barnes — once dubbed a “clear and present danger” to the campus by its president, Ronald Zaccari — to return to his studies, reversing the university’s May decision to “administratively withdraw” him.

Barnes initially attracted Zaccari’s ire when he publicly criticized the president’s plan to build two parking garages on campus using $30 million of students’ mandatory fees. Besides writing letters to administrators and sending mass e-mail messages, Barnes had posted a collage of images to his Facebook profile that Zaccari took to be a direct threat to his safety. (Other links posted to his Facebook profile included a video contest whose slogan, including the words “Shoot it,” was [mis]interpreted by the administration as a literal call to arms.)

After first appealing to the board, Barnes contacted the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which directed him to a lawyer and publicized the case. Just last week, FIRE announced Barnes’s lawsuit against Valdosta State, alleging that it had violated his First Amendment rights.
Here is FIRE's Press Release.Here is more of FIRE's coverage of the case.

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