UF reverses admission decision after racist post resurfaces
"Watch what you put on social media," a piece of advice many of us have heard and many have ignored.
For one prospective University of Florida student, it's the one thing that got in the way of her dream of being a Florida Gator.
It all started when Disney Actress Skai Jackson tweeted about prospective UF student Liberty Woodley.
She posted screenshots of Woodley's past racist Instagram post, which gained traction online.
In the vulgar post, Woodley admits to being racist, going so far as to say she wanted to punch two black girls.
"What message does it send to black students, why would they want to apply here if they think that this is the kind of student that holds UF values, that this is the kind of student that they can expect to be there with me, or be in a group project with or be in a student organization with, UF Senator Zachery Utt said. "It's chilling."
UF Spokesperson Steve Orlando said, "What I can tell you is that there is a prospective student who posted some racist comments on social media, and the prospective student will no longer be coming to the uf community.”
"Though Orlando won’t confirm that statement was about Liberty Woodley, he says she is no longer a prospective student at UF"
Utt introduced a bill demanding action from the university.
"We didn’t have time to wait for the university to do something on their own we had the power invested in our student body constitution to label heinous offenses as crimes against the student body and we needed to take that upon ourselves to make sure justice is served,” he said.
But, does the university even have the authority to reject someone over them exercising their right to free speech?
First Amendment Expert Clay Calvert said, "The first amendment gives you the right to speak freely but the first amendment does not give you the right of admission to the University of Florida."
He says it all comes down to academic freedom.
"An institution has the right to choose the students to whom it teaches and of course it cannot choose them based off of things like racial disparity or something like that, but it has the ability to choose the students that it wants to teach," he said.
So, Woodley will not become a Florida Gator.
The university says they are looking into multiple cases of current and prospective students who have posted racist remarks online.
I reached out to Woodley and her father and never received a response.