Here’s an interesting story out of Fort Worth. On the same day that an Islamic extremist gunned down five US Servicemen in Chattanooga, 19 year old Harry Vincent (a politically active Texas Christian University student) criticized the Islamic State on Twitter, saying, “This is clearly not a religion of peace.”
For his Twitter indiscretions, FOX News reports that Texas Christian University (TCU) banned Harry from most campus activities, ordered him to perform 60 hours of community service, undergo a psychiatric evaluation, and attend a “diversity training class.”
Other past tweets of Harry’s included, “These hoodrat criminals in Baltimore need to be shipped off and exiled to the sahara desert … Maybe then they’ll realize how much we provide for them (welfare, college tuition, Obama phone’s, medicare, etc.”
In yet another tweet, Harry referred to Mexicans as “beaners,” for which he later apologized, explaining that he’d heard a friend use it and thought it was funny, not realizing that it was an offensive slur.
“I did not know that word was such a hurtful word,” the teenager told Todd Starnes of FOX News. “I do regret that one because I do realize that could have caused harm to some people.” Harry stands behind his other tweets though.
Harry, who is a member of the College Republicans and the Young Americans for Freedom, said he was told by the university that his conservative views were “inappropriate.”
You can check Harry’s Twitter feed out for yourself at @
Obviously, if Harry had threatened to harm someone physically, or commit a criminal act, an investigation and punishment might be warranted. But expressing one’s opinions – even bigoted or controversial opinions – is not illegal.
So, what do you think? Was TCU too harsh? Should educational institutions discipline students for non-criminal Tweets?