By: Keith Klein (photo WLFI.com)
Purdue has expelled an undergraduate student over racist messages he shared on social media last week. “Purdue President Mitch Daniels announced the immediate expulsion of student Maxwell Lawrence,” university spokesperson Tim Doty said. “The president determined that, in addition to being racist and despicable, repeated statements posted on social media by Lawrence appear plainly intended to incite others and therefore create a risk of public safety issues in the current environment.”
While some University officials had concluded the statements were protected speech under the First Amendment and University policy, President Daniels decided instead to take this summary action, calling Lawrence’s conduct completely and utterly unacceptable by a member of the Purdue community and cited the danger Lawrence poses to public safety.”The original incidents include Lawrence posting a video on TikTok referencing running over protesters and sharing racist messages in a group chat. The Purdue Newspaper, The Exponent first reported on Lawrence’s actions, and, at the time, Purdue announced it would not take action against him because of its freedom of expression policy. The Purdue University Catalog states:“Summary action by way of an immediate disciplinary suspension and exclusion from University property may be imposed when the student’s continued presence poses a threat to (i) the safety, security, or well-being of members or guests of the University community. It further states summary action may be taken by (a number of University Officials), or the President.”
Federal regulators will vote in July on making “988” the number to reach a suicide prevention hotline. The Federal Communications Commission says phone service providers will have until July 2022 to implement the new number, if the measure is approved, as expected. The action comes as suicide rates have increased across the U.S. over the past two decades. A shorter, simpler suicide hotline number could be a game-changer.