VSU student expelled for voicing opinion - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

VSU student expelled for voicing opinion

October 2, 2007

Valdosta - A junior at Valdosta State University says he was expelled simply for voicing his opinion.

Hayden Barnes says when the school announced they would build two parking decks for 30 million dollars, he wrote a letter to the school newspaper suggesting they use that money to come up with alternative transporation methods.

Barnes posted a cartoon on his facebook account that suggested the garages be named in VSU President Ronald Zaccari's memory.

He says he then got a letter from the school saying the cartoon was threatening, that he was a clear and present danger and he was expelled.  "I never meant to be threatening. I never meant to personally attack him. This is just trying to stir a little debate. Thoughtful debate and he took great personal offense to it and over stepped his bounds," Barnes says.

Barnes says his freedom of speech rights were violated and he was expelled without warning or a hearing.

He appealed the decision to the Board of Regents who will soon meet in Atlanta to discuss his case.  He is currently searching for representation.

The VSU president's office says they are not at liberty to discuss the particulars of this issue at this juncture since his case is still a pending legal matter.


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