Purdue University this afternoon has issued a statement in the case of a student allegedly threatened with expulsion — and definitely the recipient of death threats — for criticizing Black Lives Matter on Facebook.
Joshua Nash, a biology major who is gay and refers to himself as a “dangerous faggot” in his Twitter bio (a reference to conservative commentator Milo Yiannopoulos) was summoned to a mandatory “Administrative Meeting” after a student reported a posting of his made on Facebook. According to Nash, the Facebook posting was to the effect that “Black Lives Matter is trash because they do not really care about black lives. They simply care about making money and disrupting events for dead people.”
Nash says that when he called the university administration for clarification about this hearing, he was told he could face consequences for his posting up to and including expulsion.
Today, after widespread media attention to the issue — including from Heat Street and The Drudge Report — the university is reaffirming its commitment to free speech and saying that the school merely wants to engage in “dialogue” with the student and offer him “support.”
The statement issued to Heat Street — similar to one issued to The College Fix — reads as follows:
Media reports on this matter have simply been inaccurate. Purdue University stands for freedom of expression. Purdue Northwest has never suggested, let alone threatened, the idea of disciplining the student in question for exercising his right to freedom of expression. When, as here, an administrative meeting is called with a student on our Purdue Northwest campuses, the purpose is to explore possible ways to support or establish a dialogue with that student, not to discipline him or her. Protecting free speech is of central importance at Purdue, a commitment recognized by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education when it conferred on Purdue Northwest its highest “green light” rating for its speech policies. Nothing involved in our administrative meeting process represents an abridgement of that stance.
Nash, who received death threats from fellow students over the posting along with the summons from his university’s Director of Student Assistance, Leadership, and Conduct, should be relieved to hear the news. (Purdue’s statement did not address the death threats.) Heat Street will update on this breaking story as it develops.