Board of Regents reverses VSU expulsion - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Board of Regents reverses VSU expulsion

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January 17, 2008

Valdosta - A Valdosta State University student says he was expelled for voicing his opinion.  Now, he can return to school.

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education says the board of regents reversed President Ronald Zaccari's decision to expel sophomore Hayden Barnes.

Barnes says he was expelled for peacefully protesting the construction of two new $30 million parking decks on campus and that Zaccari felt threatened by his actions.

The decision was reversed in a hearing held in Atlanta Wednesday.

They hope the decision will now help Barnes win a lawsuit he filed against the University. 

"I think the board's decision clearly indicated that they recognized that Hayden's first amendment rights were trampled. I think it's a pretty good indicator that Hayden's lawsuit has considerable merit if the board of regents is backing down," says Will Creeley, a spokesman from FIRE.

Barnes is currently attending Kennesaw State and it is unclear if he will choose to return to VSU.

The University says they are not able to comment since the case is still a pending legal matter.

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