Expelled UVa-Wise student to continue legal battleA creative writing assignment. This student wrote ... creatively ... about an individual contemplating the murder of his professor. He's expelled. Arrested. Committed. God knows what else.
By Mike Allen, The Roanoke Times
Although the University of Virginia's College at Wise is standing by his expulsion, Steven Daniel Barber vows his legal battle with the school isn't finished.
Three weeks ago, the 23-year-old Gate City resident turned in a creative writing assignment that alarmed his professor and classmates, in which a narrator contemplates killing his teacher before apparently choosing suicide. Campus police confronted Barber the next day, searched his car and found three guns, a violation of school policy.
The matter has continued to seethe since the school ruled to expel him March 6.
Wise County Commonwealth's Attorney Ron Elkins said Barber won't be charged with making a threat, but given the tone of Barber's paper, "If I were his professor, I would interpret that as a potential threat."
The story's first-person narrator contemplates killing his professor ... (link)
Freedom of speech. Academic freedom. Freedom of expression.
I'm inclined to believe that Steven Barber did something un-smart and that the college overreacted. I'm sure the ACLU is going to agree. But in this day and age, who knows?
The whole thing seems weird.