A Michigan college charged a student with “[u]se of, or threatened use of, physical force or violence” after he sent an email in which he told others to purchase “ANTIFA and ISIS hunting permits,” according to a Wednesday report.
Albion College in Albion, Mich. accused student Alexander Tokie of violating its policy because of a statement he made in an email he sent to College Republicans, reported the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a nonprofit which fights for free speech on college campuses.
“Take the liberal tears from the idiot you just destroyed in your debate, dissemble your American made Springfield M1911 .45 caliber handgun and apply the tears in order to clean the mechanism, reassemble and proceed to purchase ANTIFA and ISIS hunting permits and max out on tags,” Tokie wrote in the September email.
“If the hyperbolic nature of Tokie’s email is not immediately apparent to Albion’s administration, FIRE suggests that the college conduct further research on whether hunting permits can be purchased for ISIS or Antifa in the state of Michigan,” said Sarah McLaughlin, a senior program officer for FIRE, in a Nov. 16 letter to Albion. “Hyperbolic statements are a core component of political speech in the United States, and courts have long recognized that they cannot be treated as true threats.”
Albion postponed Tokie’s Nov. 17 hearing after receipt of the FIRE letter, but the school suggested Monday that the student attend a Dec. 15 or Dec. 21 hearing.
FIRE notes that while Albion College is a private college, “it promises its students free speech rights in its student handbook. Albion’s accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission also requires it to be ‘committed to freedom of expression.'”
The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Albion for comment, including what sanctions the student could potentially face, but received none in time for press.
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