In American colleges and universities, Free Speech is dead.
A medical student at the University of Virginia dared question the validity of microaggressions during a university panel. After this, the school claimed that the student was hostile and a threat to future patients and launched an investigation into the student. The student now confused and frustrated by the school’s actions was persecuted by the school further for his confusion and frustration. The school claimed that the student was unstable and promptly suspended him from the school.
University of Virginia student Kieran Bhattacharya attended a panel discussion about microaggressions on October 25th, 2018. Bhattacharya has asked questions about the definition of microaggressions and challenged the hosts on their message. This prompted the host to write a “professionalism concern card” against the student, this serves as a record of any student’s “violation of university policy”.
The card triggered an assistant dean at the university to get involved. The assistant dean invited Bhattacharya to a meeting where the student was asked a series of questions related to political issues. These political issues included topics related to sexual assault, affirmative action, and the election of President Trump.
This meeting as well as the card resulted in the university demanding that Bhattacharya “show mutual respect” to faculty members and express himself appropriately, the school also suggested that the young man seek counseling. This would not be the final consequence however, a month after the incident the university banned Bhattacharya from classes until he was evaluated by a psychologist.
Things quickly escalated into a lawsuit after this, Bhattacharya claims that the school violated his 1st Amendment protections. The University of Virginia sought to dismiss the case, arguing in their motion that “Offensive student speech does not enjoy First Amendment protections.” US District Court Judge Norman K. Moon allowed the lawsuit to continue despite the motion from UVA.