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Thu Jul 29, 2021, 12:25 PM

UVA punished student over 'speedbumps' remark about protesters

HatInProSe Retweeted

student's remark “was not clearly threatening," said one university office.

That's the correct — and constitutional — analysis.

But a student-led committee nevertheless & bizarrely punished her through a separate process.

That can't stand.

UVA punished student over ‘speedbumps’ remark about protesters

by Sabrina Conza
July 28, 2021

While driving home from work in July 2020, Morgan Bettinger, then a student at the University of Virginia, found the street blocked by protesters. A student-led committee later determined as a result of an investigation of the off-campus incident that Bettinger exited her car and told the driver of a city garbage truck, which was blocking the road, that “it’s a good thing that you are here because, otherwise, these people would have been speed bumps.”

That angered demonstrators who overheard her, and they followed Bettinger’s car as she slowly backed away. When a student later complained to the university’s Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights, it found — correctly — that Bettinger’s comment “was not clearly threatening on its face,” and cleared Bettinger of charges.

That should have been the end of it: an insulting, inflammatory remark followed by an angry response from aggrieved demonstrators.

Instead, UVA brought charges against Bettinger through another avenue. A student-run committee, called the University Judiciary Committee, found that Bettinger’s statement comparing protesters to speed bumps was “shameful and put members of the community at risk” given Charlottesville’s “violent history” (referencing a counter-protester who was run over and murdered by a white nationalist at the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally). The UJC — which is “authorized to investigate and adjudicate alleged violations of the University’s Standards of Conduct” — found Bettinger responsible and imposed sanctions, including an apology, 50 hours of community service at an approved social justice organization, and three hours of remedial education on police-community relations.

How could a student-led committee punish a student for speech that the university determined was protected?


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Reply UVA punished student over 'speedbumps' remark about protesters (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Jul 2021 OP
discntnt_irny_srcsm Jul 2021 #1

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Jul 29, 2021, 12:33 PM

1. Student run committees have no business being authorized to impose punitive actions

I feel there's an attorney around who stands to gain 40% of an undisclosed sum.

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