- Posted April 27, 2012 by
Greenville, South Carolina
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Part 3: Bob Jones University expels a senior nine days before graduation.
On April 24th I was called into the Dean of Men’s office at 11:00am for what became my final meeting. I was informed that I was receiving 50 demerits for posting lyrics to a Christian song, Matthew West’s “Only Grace,” on my Facebook. I was also informed that I was receiving 25 demerits for posting on Facebook during class.
These new demerits placed me at 195, well over the 150 limit. I was informed that I was expelled from Bob Jones University. I asked to appeal the ruling to the Special Committee and was told that the appeal would take place at 4:00pm the same day.
I was concerned. I had just been denied at my last appeal and the same people were going to be deciding whether or not I was able to remain in school.
I went back to my room and began preparing my defense. I researched information on TRACS, the national accrediting agency that BJU uses, and decided to contact them. I then called the Department of Education to see what my options were with them. I then called Congressman Buchanan (Florida), Senator Rubio (Florida), and Senator DeMint (South Carolina) to see if they could assist me in my predicament. Finally, I contacted the local news agencies that had covered the Do Right BJU story back in December. I informed them that BJU was planning to expel me and that I needed help. I was desperate.
The time for the Special Meeting quickly approached and I went into the meeting with almost full certainty that I was not going to come out of it a BJU student.
I pled my case to the Special Committee. I read the Student Handbook and showed that there were no rules about posting lyrics to songs on a student’s personal Facebook. I also informed them that because I stood to lose everything I had worked for I had contacted many agencies for help.
I left the room and waited for their decision. They deliberated for an extended period of time. I was brought back into the meeting and the Committee ruled that I would receive the demerits for posting a Facebook status in class and I would not receive the 50 demerits for the lyrics; bringing me up to 145 total demerits, five demerits shy of expulsion. I was shocked, overwhelmed, and overjoyed. I even almost started to cry because I was so amazed. My prayers had been answered.
All left the room except for the Dean of Men, the Dean of Students, and myself. I was then informed that I had tried to “intimidate” BJU by contacting outside agencies and that I was being expelled immediately. One moment I was safe, I had survived. The next I was gone. I was followed around campus until I had packed all of my bags and was completely off campus 2 hours later.
Today, I am barred from the campus of Bob Jones University. I wasn’t expelled for breaking the rules, because most of my demerits are from arbitrary and capricious rulings. I believe I was expelled because I spoke out. I saw abuse happening and I talked about it. I didn’t back down when threatened. I didn’t give in when I felt stalked. I stood my ground and that, I believe, is why I was expelled just 9 days before my graduation.
Part 1 of my story: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-782070
Part 2 of my story: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-782218