Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Student prohibited from graduation for Facebook comments
the daily caller ^ | 6/2/11

Posted on 06/02/2011 7:34:45 AM PDT by EBH

Facebook and college go hand and hand these days — students read up on each other, share funny videos, send messages, and publicize those embarrassing photos from the night before. At Saint Augustine’s College, however, posting the wrong thing on Facebook will land you in hot water.

The Raleigh, N.C., college prohibited senior Roman Caple from participating in his class’ graduation because of a “negative social media exchange” he had on Facebook regarding the school’s response to the April 16th tornado damage.

What Caple is being punished for is encouraging his peers on SAC’s Facebook page to go to the school’s public meeting to argue for what he thought was the best way to respond to the tornado damage.

“Here it go!!!!!” he wrote. “Students come correct, be prepared, and have supporting documents to back up your arguments bcuz SAC will come hard!!!! That is all.”

Several days later, Caple met with SAC Vice President for Student Development and Services Eric W. Jackson, who that same day informed Caple that he would not be allowed to walk with his class.

In a letter to Caple, Jackson explained that the reason for his prohibition was the Facebook comments, adding that “[a]ll students enrolled at Saint Augustine’s College are responsible for protecting the reputation of the college and supporting its mission.”

While graduation has already happened, without Caple participating, the student is still fighting the decision. His attorney, Brandon S. Atwater, has sought help from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).

“While it promises free speech, Saint Augustine’s College has apparently rolled out a brand new, unwritten ‘don’t challenge our decisions on Facebook’ rule that warrants keeping a student out of graduation ceremonies,” FIRE senior vice president Robert Shibley said.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 06/02/2011 7:34:48 AM PDT by EBH
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: EBH

Stock stuff for this time of year, following the usual “they wouldn’t let me take my lesbian partner to the prom” laments in May.


2 posted on 06/02/2011 7:36:36 AM PDT by Mr Ramsbotham (Laws against sodomy are honored in the breech.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: EBH

Stock stuff for this time of year, following the usual “they wouldn’t let me take my lesbian partner to the prom” laments in May.


3 posted on 06/02/2011 7:38:27 AM PDT by Mr Ramsbotham (Laws against sodomy are honored in the breech.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: EBH

I don’t get what he said.


4 posted on 06/02/2011 7:38:38 AM PDT by nerdwithagun (I'd rather go gun to gun then knife to knife.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nerdwithagun

I am with you, what did he say that is so bloody offensive? bring documentation of what?


5 posted on 06/02/2011 7:42:47 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: EBH

Is Saint Augustine’s College a private institution?
If so, it’s their call..................


6 posted on 06/02/2011 7:46:52 AM PDT by Red Badger (Jesus said there is no marriage in Heaven. That's why they call it Heaven............)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: EBH
“Here it go!!!!!” he wrote. “Students come correct, be prepared, and have supporting documents to back up your arguments bcuz SAC will come hard!!!! That is all.”

With this evidence of his lack of command of the English language it's no wonder he was denied graduation!

7 posted on 06/02/2011 7:47:01 AM PDT by pgkdan ( Time for a Cain Mutiny!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nerdwithagun

bcuz U not come correct, no come hard!!!!


8 posted on 06/02/2011 7:48:02 AM PDT by SengirV
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: EBH

If they chose to withhold his diploma for the atrocious misuse of spelling and grammar, that might have been understandable.

But holding him out of graduation because he asked classmates to go and discuss something at a public meeting? That’s insane.

Of course, as with many of these stories, we are only seeing a partial view of a single side of things. There may be more going on that the alleged victim wants to discuss.


9 posted on 06/02/2011 7:48:48 AM PDT by kevkrom (Palin's detractors now resort to "nobody believes she can win because nobody believes she can win")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nerdwithagun
I don’t get what he said.

Maybe he is being denied a diploma because he is illiterate?

10 posted on 06/02/2011 7:50:05 AM PDT by Sans-Culotte ( Pray for Obama- Psalm 109:8)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: EBH

“Here it go!!!!!” he wrote. “Students come correct, be prepared, and have supporting documents to back up your arguments bcuz SAC will come hard!!!! That is all.”


Huh? If anything he should be denied a diploma. “I be a college grad-u-ate.”


11 posted on 06/02/2011 7:52:23 AM PDT by Hoodlum91 (There's a strange odor coming from the White House. Smells like BO.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: EBH

Maybe it’s a private institution, maybe they can do what they want, but I want to see them suffer for this. A kid is doing what anyone in a free society ought to be encouraged to do and they’re punishing him. Sounds like a bunch of snake handlers to me.


12 posted on 06/02/2011 7:54:35 AM PDT by sand lake bar (This bag may be used as a toy)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: EBH
Maybe this is why....

He posted this on the SCHOOL's facebook page...and there are likely...RULES...

His darn message almost looks coded.

13 posted on 06/02/2011 7:58:51 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

“Is Saint Augustine’s College a private institution?
If so, it’s their call..................”

Not if he paid them money. They have a contractual obligation.


14 posted on 06/02/2011 7:59:20 AM PDT by MCF
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: kevkrom
My experience has been that there is a no more enthusiastic petty tyrant than a college/university administrator.

It's quite an experience to undergo a Judicial Board hearing and watching an internationally-known philosophy professor act like a NAZI judge.

15 posted on 06/02/2011 7:59:43 AM PDT by Trailerpark Badass (I'm sick of damn idiots)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: EBH
“Here it go!!!!!” he wrote. “Students come correct, be prepared, and have supporting documents to back up your arguments bcuz SAC will come hard!!!! That is all.”

All your base are belong to us!

16 posted on 06/02/2011 8:05:46 AM PDT by Mr.Unique (The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sand lake bar

I agree. Grammar aside, it seems the college’s complaint is that the student disagreed with policy. He was encouraging others to attend a public forum where policy was being discussed in order to advance an alternative view; there is nothing more “American”. All the stakeholders (students, faculty, staff, parents, community members, etc) should be asked to do the same - it’s a shame not more of them are as engaged...


17 posted on 06/02/2011 8:07:22 AM PDT by stormer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: sand lake bar
Its a private institution, but you have to disclose your rules and guidelines before hand, it would akin to to throwing a student out of school for drinking 7-up, without ever saying that 7-up wasn't allowed on school grounds.

Look at BYU, they are private, and make their incoming students sign guidelines that they agree to follow or suffer the punishment, if they didn't do that, those kids could turn around and sue the school.

18 posted on 06/02/2011 8:09:20 AM PDT by Sonny M ("oderint dum metuant")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: nerdwithagun
What he said was that the students need to have copies of reports, grades, permissions to graduate and anything that will support why the student thinks he has made the progress the student claims. The young man expected all the records to be dispersed with the wind and so if the university wanted to keep a student there for an extra year or two of tuition, it could easily do so, unless the student had supporting documentation.

Tornado or not, this is always good advice, whether you're a college student, office worker or CEO. FWIW, the Army does indeed lose 201 files and you military people should have copies of your paperwork in your own personal family file away from the military.

19 posted on 06/02/2011 8:11:52 AM PDT by Jemian (One cannot have a media frenzy unless it is started by ... THE MEDIA!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: EBH
“Here it go!!!!!” he wrote. “Students come correct, be prepared, and have supporting documents to back up your arguments bcuz SAC will come hard!!!! That is all.”

In essence, a commuting (i.e. non-campus-resident) student who is not even directly involved in the administration's handling of issues related to tornado damage posts a semi-literate accusation that the administration is taking a hard line obstructive position on the issues and urges students to be prepared for a confrontation with the school. Most likely there is more to this story (on both sides) than is being reported. Reflexively, I would usually side with FIRE on almost any challenge against so-called institutions of higher education as FIRE usually takes up the cause of the type of students that the ACLU tends to ignore. In this case, it almost appears that a budding furture community organizer is learning that chicago-style flash mob activism doesn't always play well.

20 posted on 06/02/2011 8:21:13 AM PDT by VRWCmember (_!_)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: EBH

what they do?


21 posted on 06/02/2011 8:24:13 AM PDT by ▀udda▀udd (7 days - 7 ways a Guero y Guay Lao >>> with a floating, shifting, ever changing persona.....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MCF

they could have the right to refuse graduation as a private school if he were in violation of his contract with them.

my question did they with hold the diploma or did they simply deny his participation in the graduation ceremony?


22 posted on 06/02/2011 8:24:22 AM PDT by mtnjimmi (He that won't be counseled can't be helped. - Benjamin Franklin)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: MCF
Not if he paid them money. They have a contractual obligation.

“Here it go!!!!!” he wrote. “Students come correct, be prepared, and have supporting documents to back up your arguments bcuz SAC will come hard!!!! That is all.”
Contractual obligations are two-sided. His post seems to indicate that he hasn't lived up to his side of the acedemic achievement obligation.
23 posted on 06/02/2011 8:25:26 AM PDT by VRWCmember (_!_)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: SengirV
bcuz U not come correct, no come hard!!!!

I'll just bet there's a family member that played pro football a few years back...you know, the guy with the "He Hate Me" on the back of his jersey!

24 posted on 06/02/2011 8:29:58 AM PDT by Night Hides Not (If Dick Cheney = Darth Vader, then Joe Biden = Dark Helmet)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: stormer

HE POSTED ON THE COLLEGE SITE!! As we know, almost every site has rules.


25 posted on 06/02/2011 8:31:50 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: EBH

It seems he received his degree but didn’t get to use his cap & gown.

I had my school mail mine to me. He isn’t out anything.


26 posted on 06/02/2011 8:39:05 AM PDT by wordsofearnest (Proper aim of giving is to put the recipient in a state where he no longer needs it. C.S. Lewis)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sacajaweau

I guess he got the zot.


27 posted on 06/02/2011 8:40:43 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (I'm a Birther - And a Deather)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Jemian
What he said was that the students need to have copies of reports, grades, permissions to graduate and anything that will support why the student thinks he has made the progress the student claims. The young man expected all the records to be dispersed with the wind and so if the university wanted to keep a student there for an extra year or two of tuition, it could easily do so, unless the student had supporting documentation.

Perhaps you gleaned this information from another source, but this particular story did not include any of that info. Here is part of the story at the source that was omitted from the excerpting process for FR posting purposes:

In a statement issued in response to concern about Caple’s punishment, the school explained that the decision was due to the fact that they saw Caple’s words as an attempt to stir up trouble.

“At a time when the College staff was working diligently to ensure the well being of all students, Mr. Caple, a senior, chose to attempt to create chaos,” the school wrote in a statement. “It is important to note that Mr. Caple is a student who resides off campus and therefore, was not present on campus throughout the tornado or its aftermath.”

The college added that they had had past troubles with Caple, but were not prepared to share them at this time.

“Throughout his matriculation, there were more incidents involving Mr. Caple that factored into the College’s decision, however, because of FERPA [Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act] constraints, that information cannot be disclosed,” the school added. “The posts to Facebook during this time left the administration with no other choice other than to exclude him from the actual commencement exercise.”

I'm sure there is more to the story on both sides. Perhaps the school overreacted in excluding this future community organizer from its graduation ceremony; and perhaps this fine young man is just a spoiled little punk that likes to stir up controversy and prevent solutions when others are trying to work through issues and resolve problems. Perhaps the real truth is somewhere in the middle.
28 posted on 06/02/2011 8:41:27 AM PDT by VRWCmember (_!_)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: MCF

He paid for an education.
He received the education.
Contractual obligation is fulfilled..............


29 posted on 06/02/2011 8:51:22 AM PDT by Red Badger (Jesus said there is no marriage in Heaven. That's why they call it Heaven............)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: mtnjimmi

“In a letter to Caple, Jackson explained that the reason for his prohibition was the Facebook comments, adding that “[a]ll students enrolled at Saint Augustine’s College are responsible for protecting the reputation of the college and supporting its mission”

That is the official reason, a very broad, non-specific reason if there ever was one.


30 posted on 06/02/2011 8:59:30 AM PDT by MCF
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Sacajaweau

I just went to the SAC FB page. Nothing there indicates that postings are limited by content or purpose.


31 posted on 06/02/2011 9:07:27 AM PDT by stormer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: VRWCmember

“Contractual obligations are two-sided. His post seems to indicate that he hasn’t lived up to his side of the acedemic achievement obligation.”

He is under no contractual obligation to use proper grammer outside of class. This was a petty and vindictive bit of tyranny without a shread of merit to it.


32 posted on 06/02/2011 9:09:03 AM PDT by MCF
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: VRWCmember

I brought a lot of personal experience into what I read, not necessarily what has happened to me, but what I’ve seen throughout life and just think is good advice. I did find his own specific writing to be a bit cryptic (/understatement) and therefore subject to intrepretation. As I read through the other responses, I realized that once again, I arrived at a different conclusion.

It is never bad advice to keep your own personal copies of documents, especially which will validate milestones. I and my classmates at college would frequently make photocopies of work turned in, and I advised my kids to do the same. Profs are human and do mislay and lose assignments, especially when they have a large workload. The Army did lose, a few years ago, my son’s 201 file.

So, while not appropo in this case (apparently), it is good advice to keep your own documentation of everything!


33 posted on 06/02/2011 9:09:44 AM PDT by Jemian (One cannot have a media frenzy unless it is started by ... THE MEDIA!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: VRWCmember

This is interesting. The school goes out of its way to denigrate Caple, and then hides behind confidentiality rules to explain why they can’t say more. Sound like typical administrative CYO to me. And what’s the deal with him not living on campus? Most students don’t - does that somehow make them the lesser of equals?


34 posted on 06/02/2011 9:17:17 AM PDT by stormer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Jemian
What he said was that the students need to have copies of reports, grades, permissions to graduate and anything that will support why the student thinks he has made the progress the student claims.

He should have said that in English like you did instead of the punk jibberish that he used.

35 posted on 06/02/2011 9:18:33 AM PDT by VRWCmember (_!_)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

“He paid for an education.
He received the education.
Contractual obligation is fulfilled..............”

Graduation is part of the contract. As long as he meets the academic requirements they must allow him to graduate with his class. Or, provide specific reasons why not and a chance to answer those charges. Challenging administrative policy in a public forum and encouraging others to do so is not a valid reason.


36 posted on 06/02/2011 9:30:32 AM PDT by MCF
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: stormer
And what’s the deal with him not living on campus? Most students don’t - does that somehow make them the lesser of equals?

The meeting that he appeared to be encouraging students to disrupt was for the purpose of dealing with the school's response to tornado damage (presumably on campus from the context). So the "deal" with him not living on campus (again presumably from context) is that he is not really a party to the issues being discussed but has chosen to interject himself into the discussions and in a way to promote confrontation rather than cooperation.

To illustrate in local community terms (the relevance of his residency), if your local government were meeting with the residents of your street to deal with damage from a storm, and the purpose of the meeting was to come up with a plan for a timely completion of repairs and improvements, would you want a community organizer from a neighboring town posting notices accusing your city council of planning to deny claims and obstruct progress and urging your neighbors to get loud and confrontational with lots of documentation and be prepared for a fight? Or would you prefer that he go organize his own community and let you and your neighbors work constructively with the city council reps to come up with a solution? The community organizer from across town has the freedom of speech to go stir up trouble anywhere he likes. You and your neighbors would have no recourse in preventing him from doing so (and I would not suggest that you or your government should be able to prevent him from speaking his mind) as long as he is not trespassing on private property.

37 posted on 06/02/2011 9:35:30 AM PDT by VRWCmember (_!_)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger
If they accept so much as one dime from a student's FEDERALLY GUARANTEED student loan, or of they accept one dime from a student's Pell Grant its not their call.

This just sounds like typical college administration arrogance and stupidity.


38 posted on 06/02/2011 9:51:11 AM PDT by Emperor Palpatine (One of these days, Alice....one of these days.....POW!! Right in the kisser!!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: MCF

Sports events, concerts, ceremonies and other such type events are considered ‘extra-curricular’ activities, meaning ‘outside the curriculum’. He paid for the curriculum. He still received his diploma.

If I were him, I’d chalk it up to bad decisions and move on with my life, diploma in hand and take on the world...........


39 posted on 06/02/2011 10:22:16 AM PDT by Red Badger (Jesus said there is no marriage in Heaven. That's why they call it Heaven............)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: VRWCmember

Currently I’m living and doing research 2,000 miles away from my institution - at one time I was living in a tent in the Kalahari over 9,000 miles away - but neither then nor now do I feel less a part of the university community than if I was hanging on the quad; my opinion regarding decision-making on campus is just as valid as anyone’s. And what identifies this guy as a “trouble-maker”, the fact that he disagrees with the school administration? I’d be curious why the school is so unwilling to engage in any type of dialog and wants to silence dissent.


40 posted on 06/02/2011 10:47:47 AM PDT by stormer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

41 posted on 06/02/2011 10:52:35 AM PDT by stormer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: VRWCmember

Yes, but he didn’t go to Auburn like I did. He can’t help it.


42 posted on 06/02/2011 12:38:43 PM PDT by Jemian (One cannot have a media frenzy unless it is started by ... THE MEDIA!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: stormer
And what identifies this guy as a “trouble-maker”, the fact that he disagrees with the school administration? I’d be curious why the school is so unwilling to engage in any type of dialog and wants to silence dissent.

Only going by what I read in the article, it would appear that he enjoys stirring up controversy and has done so on multiple previous occasions. Whether the "trouble" is simply a disagreement with the school administration or a malicious intent to disrupt meetings between the administration and other students (or some middle ground between those two positions) would require more information that is available, making my inferences from the data presented in the article no less and no more valid than yours. As for why the school is "so unwilling to engage in any type of dialog" an equally valid question might be why this young man is so determined to disrupt the dialog that the school is attempting to engage. After all, the school had already scheduled a meeting with the affected students for a dialog on the issues and this student posted his little challenge advocating a confrontational approach and accusing the school of pushing back against solutions. Who is really the obstacle to dialog here?

I understand the concept of distance learning (in fact I have taught online university courses with students literally located all over the world while taking my course) so I understand that off-campus students are part of the student body. While the off-campus students are equally a part of the campus community as the resident students, their opinions would not necessarily be equally informed, nor would they hold equal status as stakeholders and participants in a discussion regarding resolution of issues related to on-campus damages from a tornado.

43 posted on 06/02/2011 3:14:42 PM PDT by VRWCmember (_!_)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: VRWCmember

Ultimately then the decision by the school has nothing to do with whatever message any of the parties advocated; it is merely to punish him.


44 posted on 06/02/2011 4:28:13 PM PDT by stormer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson