Maybe St. Augustine’s College in North Carolina has never heard of the 1st amendment…
The school’s administration has decided to prevent graduating senior Roman Caple from walking with his class this weekend because he had the audacity to call them out on some suspect out of pocket-ness, which they felt “jeopardized the integrity of the college.”
Even though Caple posted a lot of comments on his Facebook page following the tornado that hit the Raleigh, N.C. area almost two weeks ago, he is confused as to what could have offended the college. Most of his comments alluded to the unification and strength the students should have at that time of distress and uncertainty. One of the posts said, “We all need to set our differences aside and help one another. Falcons we will continue to fly high because that’s what we do. Help your neighbor, if need be, Falcons are one.”
Caple went through his Facebook page with ABC11 saying, “Here’s the post that I believe they are referring to as to being putting this college in a negative light. It says ‘St. Augs is holding classes tomorrow and students in Falcrest still don’t have power. Like, wtf. Really? #dumb.’”
Caple is known for being an involved member of the student body as a St. Augustine band and choir member as well as playing tennis for the school for three years. He even showed his love and dedication for his school by getting a customized haircut with the school’s logo shaved into his head.
“I feel like it’s a personal issue that they have with me because as I said, if they’re basing it on my Facebook post, as you saw, there was nothing on there that was negative,” he said. “In my opinion. In their opinion, it might be different, but they haven’t proven to me in anything in writing or anything that that’s the case.”
St. Augustine’s released a short statement to ABC11 saying: “As written in our Code of Conduct, Saint Augustine’s College students are expected to support the College’s mission. The College reserves the right to take appropriate actions when student conduct conflicts with the institutional mission.”
Of course, the school backed that statement up with a much different explanation and guilty FB post.
College spokeswoman LaToya Sutton said in a press release Friday that Caple made comments on the school’s Facebook page in an effort to disrupt a meeting on campus where Progress Energy representatives planned to speak with students. The college also planned to discuss storm recovery details at the meeting.
In a screenshot of the comment released by the college, Caple wrote, “Here it go! Students come correct, be prepared, and have supporting documents to back up your arguments bcuz (sic) SAC will come hard! That is all.”
Sutton said Caple lives off campus and was not present on campus during the storms or the aftermath.
“It was determined that the comments made to the page by Mr. Caple, coupled with other comments he made to select individuals, were designed for the sole purpose of inciting students to react to the college’s continued efforts to manage a difficult situation,” Sutton said. “At a time when the college staff was working diligently to ensure the well-being of all students, Mr. Caple, a senior, chose to attempt to create chaos.”
Sutton said Caple made other comments that were deemed inappropriate. Those comments were not released.
Other incidents involving Caple were also factored into the school’s decision, Sutton said. She would not comment on the specifics of those incidents, citing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
Caple has completed his degree requirements and will receive his diploma, Sutton said.
“There’s always been issues with the administration that I didn’t agree with. I believe the administration is using this as a ploy to keep me from walking at graduation because I always voice my opinions,” Caple said.
Oh, so you’re punishing the outspoken student activist? Yeah, St. Augustine’s. This is a MUCH better look for your school’s integrity.