A member of the private Facebook group reportedly sent copies of Aziz’s comments to Montclair State officials, and school officials suspended him for the semester. The administration also threatened him with arrest if he sets foot on campus during that time, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a national civil liberties group that has thrown its hat in with Aziz.
In a letter denying Aziz’s appeal, Montclair State official Karen Pennington described the graduate student’s conduct as sophomoric, according to CBS New York. She also added that the 26-year-old frequently withdraws from courses, actions which “waste valuable time.”
FIRE has since informed Montclair State that it believes both the restraining order and the suspension are “a serious violation of Aziz’s rights.”
“As an agency of the government, Montclair State has no power to order students not to discuss any topic or person on independent social media sites like Facebook,” said Robert Shibley, FIRE’s senior vice president, in a press release.