You Can’t Be Serious…: HBCU Bans Student From Walking In Graduation For Calling Them Out On Facebook

- By Bossip Staff

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.

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  • kjc15

    Wow, this is my Alma Mater…I am so ashamed…

    • Dionte

      mine too..smh

  • Kenedy

    Facebook is a neat thing…but has gotten alot of people introuble….I know of a Human Resource department that does “research” of applicants on facebook….But its a shame that this student has to be punished for voicing his opinion.

  • if anything be noble

    HBCUs can treat their students like such little kids sometimes— meanwhile white students are all but burning down their schools and posting everything they can think of online about this clas$ and that professor to protest and be free in ‘self-expression.’ …(Mike Epps and Timmy) SMH

  • Jay

    Somebody in administration clearly does not like the fact that his free speech has been exercised. Someone needs to be fired. The school should be boycotted on graduation day. We have more black guys in jail than in college and the commencement is the greatest highlight of four years of college. I will keep my son as far away from that school as possible!

    • Really?

      Exactly. Thank you

  • Ronny

    They ought to actually applaud him for looking out for the staff and students best interest. Strop being all dictator-like and loosen up.

  • st aug grad

    As a recent grad I remember Roman, and he mos def had the most school spirit and a lot of respect from everybody. I am so sick of that president SUBER and some of the administration. They are so unprofessional, I would not recommend this college to anyone. This is not the first time SUBER has made a poor decision. Shame on her, and everybody involved with this. Maybe there is two sides, however it does not change the fact that she is horrible. There are too many problems at this bum college than one student who did everything right to earn that honor to walk across the stage. SMH St Aug will take his money so SUBER can buy a new car but will not allow him to participate in the graduation ceremonies!!

  • for the people

    I encourage all graduates to refuse to walk unless Roman gets to walk. Please unite with him. This is a silly abuse of power. I have no respect for people who do things just because they can (bosses, police, or any authority figure)…please fight back and not allow this injustice. I wonder how many times admin tried to talk with Roman and unite with him or at least listen to his concerns. What admin did was spiteful no matter what Roman did. Not expressing opinion is not a graduation requirment. Stop abusing your power administration! Shame on you!

  • Samael

    It’s not a ‘first amendment issue’. It may be in poor taste but it’s got nothing to do with the Federal Government interference with what this person had to say.

    • Joe

      Not so fast. There’s no way they could survive without federal government funding. The constitution shouldn’t be violated by the Federal government or institutions supported by federal government money.

  • clarissa

    Where are his parents??? Contact the ACLU! Respectfully some HBCUs may not be a good fit for many young people today my parents tried to encourage us to go because they went and after visiting several campus of we/they we selected other colleges and universities. Sounds like the young man should have broaden his horizon sophomore year and left. TOTALLY ABUSIVE AND INSULTING TO NOT ALLOW HIM TO WALK AFTER EARNING HIS DEGREE…..THEY ARE TRYING TO DISGRACE HIM AND SCAR HIM FOR LIFE!

  • Jenn

    we live in NC a few hours from there and my daughter was just looking at this college about a month ago….guess we will be crossing it off the list…Lord knows she speaks her mind!!!

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