DePaul University has completed its investigation after an apparent act of vandalism destroyed a pro-life flag display on the school’s main campus.
As The Daily Caller reported, the display was part of the Flags for Life Project initiated by DePaul’s chapter of Young Americans for Freedom. After reserving space on the campus quad in Lincoln Park, club members set up 500 colored flags — half blue, half pink — to symbolize the lives they believe are lost each day as a result of legalized abortion.
When club members later returned to the quad to remove their display, they found it wrecked. Someone had removed the flags and stuffed them into several trash bins near the entrance to the library on the east side of the quad.
Kristopher Del Campo, who chairs the DePaul YAF chapter, contacted public safety officials. At the time, Del Campo contended that leftist vandals had been the culprits.
“It is a sad thing to see that liberal-minded students aren’t tolerant and don’t respect the views of those who respect the lives of the unborn,” Del Campo said at the time.
About a week later, Kevin Connolly, an investigator for DePaul’s public safety department, produced a brief report, which YAF has published on its website.
By all appearances, Del Campo was right.
Connolly’s report lists the names of the 13 students he said admitted to wrecking the display.
“The above students all admitted in person to participating in the removal of the pink and blue flag display from the quad on January 22, 2013,” Connolly wrote. “They stated they are classmates, and had seen anti-abortion posters around campus earlier in the day that they found offensive. They had an emotional discussion prior to class, and after class they all walked out to the quad together. They then started pulling up all the flags and put them in garbage cans and carried some off to their next class.”
“All stated they realized that their actions were not appropriate,” the investigator added.
The students named by Connolly were identified by security video camera footage, according to YAF.
Del Campo reportedly wants the alleged culprits to face the judicial process of the university. However, it’s unclear who – if anyone — at the nation’s largest Catholic university will try the alleged vandals for their actions.
Cynthia Lawson, vice president for public relations at DePaul, told TheDC that “The investigation is complete and the judicial process has commenced.”
The smattering of comments below YAF’s depiction of the investigation were largely concerned with the ethics of publishing the names of the students who allegedly admitted to wrecking the pro-life display.
“Whoever published this should be ashamed of themselves,” charged a commenter named Killian. “Congradulations [sic] on your beat down on these girls over and over and over again. That’s gonna solve a lot. Nobody was there to protect your display and talk your opinions/views out. Instead you chose to leave your display there and let it do the talking. People who hold the opposite view of things (which I’m sure there are a few of in a university such as de Paul [sic]) are obviously going to react negatively.”
Commenter Ali G. suggested that “publishing the internal records of a university so publicly like this is in direct violation of FERPA, and infringes on student’s [sic] right to privacy.”
FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, a federal statute that protects the privacy of education records. The law specifically exempts the records of law enforcement units at colleges and universities.