Clay Calvert Comments on Rescinding College Admission Offers for Racist Social Media Posts
Clay Calvert, director of the Marion B. Brechner First Amendment Project at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, is quoted in “Racial Social Media Posts from Students are Forcing Colleges to Respond” published in Teen Vogue on July 6.
The article focuses on schools and universities who have decided to rescind student admission offers due to racist social media posts.
According to Calvert, the debate over how much leeway colleges and universities have to legally withdraw admissions offers is shaped by a few main concepts, including the understanding that there’s a lot of gray area, and by the “principle of institutional academic freedom.”
“The ‘principle of institutional academic freedom’ allows a public university to decide which students it wishes to educate,” he said. “This is a fairly new issue; you can make the argument on both sides, but the Supreme Court has never said that a student can use the First Amendment, basically, as a weapon to intermeddle in the admissions process.”
He adds that “Expelling an enrolled student for racist speech is a different story.”