College backs off charges against student who used Trump photo on Zoom, still claims Facebook post broke rules
Added 08-12-20 07:29:02pm EST - “A New Jersey college has backed off five of the six student code of conduct charges it had leveled against a student who used a picture of President Trump as his Zoom background and wrote an allegedly inflammatory political Facebook…” - Foxnews.com
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A New Jersey college has backed off five of the six student code of conduct charges it had leveled against a student who used a picture of President Trump as his Zoom background and wrote an allegedly inflammatory political Facebook post -- but the school is still claiming the Facebook post constitutes "disruptive behavior."
Stockton University previously charged doctoral student Robert Dailyda with disruptive behavior; discrimination; harassment; hostile environment; harm; and bullying and cyberbullying, but this week removed all of those charges but one, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a conservative group representing him. The school, in a Tuesday letter, said that all of the original charges, including the one still leveled against Dailyda, were related to the Facebook post and not the Trump Zoom picture that started the chain of events leading to the Facebook post.
The school still alleges that a Facebook post Dailyda wrote saying that he would "fight to the death for our country" was disruptive behavior, which could lead to minimum punishments including probation, community service and a fine.
"We appreciate that Stockton has rescinded the charges relating to Dailyda's choice of a Zoom background image, and that the university will not punish him for it," FIRE said in a letter sent to Stockton University Tuesday, which did not acknowledge the school's claim all the original charges were only related to the Facebook post. "In doing so, Stockton correctly recognizes that the First Amendment bars it from punishing Dailyda's protected speech."
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