Harvard rescinds acceptance of Parkland survivor Kyle Kashuv over past use of racial epithet

Kyle Kashuv
"Harvard deciding that someone can't grow...is deeply concerning."

Kyle Kashuv, a survivor of the 2018 Parkland shooting who has become a gun rights advocate, says Harvard University has rescinded his admission because of his previous use of a racial epithet in leaked private conversations.

Kashuv took to Twitter Monday morning to respond to Harvard’s decision and once again repeat his apology for those comments.

“A few weeks ago, I was made aware of egregious and callous comments classmates and I made privately years ago — when I was 16 years old, months before the shooting — in an attempt to be as extreme and shocking as possible. I immediately apologized,” Kashuv wrote as part of his Twitter thread.

Kashuv’s comments were made public in March. They stem in part from a Google doc where Kashuv repeatedly said the word, among other inflammatory statements. The screenshots show Kashuv writing, “like im really good at typing (word redacted) ok like practice uhhhhhh makes perfect son??!!”

Kashuv says he was 16 at the time and did not remember making the remarks until they were publicly leaked.

“We were 16-year-olds making idiotic comments, using callous and inflammatory language in an effort to be as extreme and shocking as possible,” Kashuv wrote back in March. “I’m embarrassed by it, but I want to be clear that the comments I made are not indicative of who I am or who I’ve become in the years since.”

After those remarks were published, several people called on Harvard to reconsider their decision to accept Kashuv, with a Change.org petition labeling him a “bigot.”

The former Stoneman Douglas High School student says he was given a chance to explain those comments further in a letter to Harvard, but that the school ultimately revoked his admission.

“I apologize unequivocally for my comments, which were made two years ago in private among equally immature high school students,” Kashuv wrote to the university.

“I gave no consideration to the meaning and weight of the words I wrote in an effort to impress then-friends and classmates, and looking back I know clearly know I wrote terrible things I can never unwrite.”

Kashuv says he asked Harvard for an in-person meeting to further discuss the decision, but that request was declined.

“Harvard deciding that someone can’t grow, especially after a life-altering event like the shooting, is deeply concerning,” Kashuv continued on Twitter Monday.

“If any institution should understand growth, it’s Harvard, which is looked to as the pinnacle of higher education despite its checkered past.

“Throughout its history, Harvard’s faculty has included slave owners, segregationists, bigots and antisemites. If Harvard is suggesting that growth isn’t possible and that our past defines our future, then Harvard is an inherently racist institution.

“But I don’t believe that. I believe that institutions and people can grow. I’ve said that repeatedly. In the end, this isn’t about me, it’s about whether we live in a society in which forgiveness is possible or mistakes brand you as irredeemable, as Harvard has decided for me.”

Kashuv had previously earned praise among conservative circles for speaking out against gun control, in contrast to several other of the most outspoken survivors of the 2018 shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].


5 comments

  • DISGUSTED. Harvard’s actions here are indeed deeply disturbing. Harvard had a full and unfettered opportunity to review this young man in detail prior to accepting him into the Class of 2022. He has acted in good-faith reliance on their acceptance and has likely irretrievably rejected offers from other schools. (When Harvard beckons, the answer is “Yes”, and Harvard knows this).

    In case the Admissions Office has forgotten, all teenagers commonly engage in ranting and posturing, especially when they are in supposedly private conversation with their peers (who are presumably as dumb and inexperienced as they are). Roles are tried on; outrageous and mocking language is trotted out for the amusement of the peers; growth occurs.

    I have no doubt that this young man’s emerging political agenda has become a cause of real concern to the politically-correct administration at Harvard. Their recent sacking of the Winthrop House dean is emblematic of their desire to be “correct”.

    I am disgusted with the actions of this gutless administration. They are diminishing my esteem for the diploma I earned from them 55 years ago.

    Larry Gillis ’64 (Cape Coral)

  • Jim Donelon

    June 17, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    It makes no difference if you are 16 or 60, you make your bed, then you lie in it. When the folks realize that what you say in private may someday become public and what you say/preach will follow you to the grave.

    That being said, I believe Harvard is just plain wrong. He has a right to his opinion- even if I disagree with him. His views on gun regulation(not control) should not disqualify him from getting a prime education. Perhaps he would see the light and realize how wrong he is.

    • greg

      June 18, 2019 at 12:54 am

      Go kick rocks moron!

  • Phil Morton

    June 17, 2019 at 4:16 pm

    If he was a racist asshole 2 years ago, there’s a good chance he’s still a racist asshole.

    • greg

      June 18, 2019 at 12:55 am

      Wrong on so many levels!

Comments are closed.


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