A Fordham University student harassed and threatened students supporting the Black Lives Matter movement by holding a gun in social-media posts, a judge ruled Thursday in denying the student’s bid to evade school sanctions.
Student Austin Tong lost his lawsuit to overturn discipline the school’s dean imposed on him for two Instagram posts, which Tong claimed were protected by his right to free speech.
On June 3, Tong posted a photo of slain retired St. Louis Police Captain David Dorn with the caption “Y’all a bunch of hypocrites,” as a criticism over the lack of outrage over his death, his suit said at the time.
A June 4 post showed the 21-year-old Chinese-American holding a rifle that he had a license for captioned “Don’t tread on me. #198964” to honor the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, he claimed.
But Assistant Vice Principal and Dean of Students Keith Eldredge held a hearing over the posts and ultimately placed Tong on disciplinary probation — banning him from extracurriculars, student office, student groups and sports in the upcoming school year.
Tong also has to complete the school year online and can only come on campus with permission. Furthermore, he must take bias training and must write an apology letter.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Carol Edmead tossed Tong’s case, finding that “the timing, content, and context of Tong’s Instagram posts justify the two foregoing inferences that Dean Eldredge drew about Tong’s intent to harass and threaten his fellow students via his Instagram posts because of their opposing views regarding the BLM movement.”
Edmead said the dean was right in finding that Tong violated the school’s code of conduct and was right to impose sanctions against him.
Tong’s lawyer Brett Joshpe told The Post, “While we are extremely disappointed in this ruling, we not only plan to appeal, we are actively exploring other legal avenues. This matter is far from over.”
Lawyers for Fordham did not immediately return a request for comment.
View original post