Pro-life students at DePaul University recently erected an anti-abortion display to mark the 40th anniversary of the historic Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case. While they were intent on exercising their free-speech rights, their work was inevitably torn down by other pupils at the school who clearly disagreed with the message.
Surprisingly, in the wake of the incident, it's the head of the conservative campus group responsible for assembling the memorial who's now in the hot seat. Kristopher DelCampo, 23, could face potential expulsion for publishing the names of his peers who destroyed the flag display.
The student, who chairs the campus chapter of Young Americans for Freedom, was found guilty by campus officials of two violations: "Disorderly, Violent, Intimidating or Dangerous Behavior to Self or Others" and "Judicial Process Compliance," Fox News' Todd Starnes reports.
The display before it was destroyed (Photo Credit: Young America's Foundation)
Ironically, Del Campo came under fire for making public the incident report surrounding the attack on the pro-life memorial. He published the document on the YAF web site -- something the university apparently didn't take too kindly to.
Before we delve too deeply into that portion of the story, let's take a moment to recap the story from start to finish, in case you missed it when it was originally reported last month. Starnes explains:
[In] January Del Campo and other pro-life students received permission from the university to erect a pro-life display featuring 500 flags. Vandals later destroyed the display – stuffing a number of the flags into trash cans.
The university’s public safety department launched an investigation and eventually identified 13 students who confessed to the crime. Those names were then released by the university to Del Campo.
On Feb. 5 the national Young Americans for Freedom organization posted the names of the vandals on their website. The posting generated negative comments directed at the vandals – and the university held Del Campo responsible.
So, Del Campo, a psychology major, is apparently being held accountable for the negative comments that were waged against the perpetrators. Ten days after the posting of the names went public, the student was officially charged with violating the schools "Code of Student Responsibility."
Naturally, representatives from YAF and other groups are speaking out with dismay that Del Campo is being punished when he was initially the victim of the crime.
Pete Bonilla, a staff member at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, is among those defending the student. In a letter, he wrote to DePaul's president, noting that the publication of names of students who have already confessed to vandalizing shouldn't warrant such a harsh response.
An image of the display stuffed into the trash (Photo Credit: Young America's Foundation)
"The 13 DePaul students named in the public safety report admitted not only to vandalizing YAF’s display but also planning to do so," Bonilla's letter read. "Students who purposefully vandalize the works of other students should not expect to be shielded from the public consequences of their actions."
But so far the university has reportedly been less-than-accommodating. In an e-mail obtained by Starnes, Del Campo was purportedly threatened with disciplinary action, including expulsion, if he didn't comply with a request for silence on the matter.
"It is unfortunate that this incident is part of your educational career," Dean of Students Art Munin wrote to Del Campo. "Any further infractions of the Code of Student Responsibility during your probationary period may result in additional disciplinary action including removal from the university."
Despite this warning, the student is speaking with Fox and telling his side of the story.
"The dean told me not to fight -- he told me it wasn’t worth it -- that I just have 13 weeks left at the university," the student told Starnes. "But I’m going to fight this. This is wrong. This university has a problem with free speech rights and this time they met a challenger who is not backing down."
Now, YAF is demanding charges be dropped. Read all of the details here. TheBlaze left a message for a representative at DePaul, but has not yet heard back.
(H/T: Fox News Radio)
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