Other students were triggered by the image of President Trump, and this student may be forced to take a social justice workshop as a result.

The FIRE blog reports:

Student faces possible suspension, fine for Zoom background of President Trump

A student at Stockton University is facing disciplinary charges for a political Facebook post and making his Zoom background a photo of President Donald Trump during class, causing other students to feel “taunted.” Today, with the help of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, he’s fighting back.

“Like its Atlantic City neighbor, Stockton is doubling down and gambling with students’ constitutional rights — a risky bet when FIRE is involved,” said Zach Greenberg, author of FIRE’s letter to Stockton President Harvey Kesselman.

Doctoral student Robert Dailyda used a photo of the president as his Zoom background during a July 1 virtual class, prompting complaints from other students in a private GroupMe chat after class. Dailyda removed himself from the chat in order to, as Stockton acknowledged, “avoid continued conflict.” The administration wrote in an incident report that the photo caused students “to feel offended, disrespected, and taunted.”

On July 10, administrators asked him to explain his political views, claiming that students were offended by his Zoom background, comments in the GroupMe chat, and a subsequent Facebook post defending his expression, which the university claimed students found “offensive, threatening, and concerning.” The university also expressed concern about comments others left on the post.

In his post, Dailyda wrote in part, “I’m ready to fight to the death for our county and against those that want to take it down.” (If that, in Stockton’s estimation, is worthy of investigation, wait until they learn about Patrick Henry.)


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