Harvard Pulls Parkland Shooting Survivor’s Admission Over Racist Comments

Cheryl Sanders
June 18, 2019

Having been set to attend Harvard in 2020 after taking a year off school, Kashuv announced in a series of tweets on Monday that the Ivy League institute had chose to rescind his acceptance "over texts and comments made almost two years ago, months prior to the shooting".

Mr. Kashuv, who attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, when 17 students and staff members were killed by a lone gunman on February 14, 2018, apologized last month after classmates accused him of using racial slurs.

Harvard spokeswoman Rachael Dane declined to comment on the decision, saying the university does not publicly discuss individual admission cases.

"We were 16-year-olds making idiotic comments, using callous and inflammatory language in an effort to be as extreme and shocking as possible", Kashuv, now 18, tweeted on May 22.

He wrote an apology for his remarks and posted a screenshot of what appears to be a June 3 letter from Harvard Dean of Admissions William Fitzsimmons, rescinding his admission.

In the letter posted by Kashuv, the university said it reserves the right to withdraw an acceptance "if you engage or have engaged in behavior that brings into question your honesty, maturity, or character".

Sides were quickly taken on social media, with some saying the university had a right to rescind Kashuv's admission and others decrying the school's action.

Kashuv said on Twitter that he submitted a written apology to Harvard after the school contacted him asking him to explain the statements he made in the Google document. If Harvard is suggesting that growth isn't possible and that our past defines our future, then Harvard is an inherently racist institution. Around the same time Kashuv's comments were unearthed in May, the Harvard Lampoon ran an image of Holocaust victim Anne Frank in a bikini which was widely panned as anti-Semitic and even condemned by the New England regional director of the Anti-Defamation League. "Clearly that's not indicative of who I am", he said.

Kashuv said the notoriety led to "speculative articles" and attacks by "former peers & political opponents" urging Harvard to rescind his admission. "I'm a kid who went through a tragedy who saw the suffering that the community went through and doesn't want to see it for any other community". "But I don't believe that", he continued.

"After careful consideration the committee voted to rescind your admission to Harvard College", Fitzsimmons wrote.

Kashuv's pro-gun stances also earned him attention in 2018, when, not long after the Parkland mass shooting that killed 17, he livestreamed a conversation with conservative commentators who were strong backers of the Second Amendment.

The teen, who said he's now "exploring all options at the moment", noted that sharing his story is "about whether we live in a society in which forgiveness is possible or mistakes brand you as irredeemable, as Harvard has decided for me". "I know that the person who wrote those things is not who I am today", Kyle Kashuv told guest host Ed Henry. In the end, this isn't about me, it's about whether we live in a society in which forgiveness is possible or mistakes brand you as irredeemable, as Harvard has decided for me.

The cover page of Kashuv's Twitter account shows him seated in the Oval Office, seated across the desk from President Trump and next to first lady Melania Trump. "But I don't believe that", Kashuv added.

"So what now? I'm figuring it out", he tweeted. "I'm exploring all options at the moment", he wrote.

Other reports by iNewsToday