University Refuses To Settle Lawsuit After TA Assaults Students

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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter
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A university rejected a lawsuit settlement filed on behalf of three students after a professor reportedly assaulted two of the students and the students received discipline from the school, according to a Tuesday report.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign declined to settle a lawsuit with students and Campus Reform correspondents Joel Valdez, Blair Nelson, and Andrew Minik after its history teacher’s assistant, Tariq Khan, assaulted the first two student journalists, and threw one of their phones on the sidewalk, reported Campus Reform.

Khan got arrested in November 2017 for assaulting two students at an anti-Trump protest. After one of the students asked Khan “don’t you have anything better to do? Don’t you have kids?” the TA, who teaches classes like “Constructing Race in America” and “US Gender History Since 1877,” accused the students of making a threat and assaulted them.

“[Valdez is] lucky I didn’t flatten his ass out on the ground for talking about my children,” Khan later said on a panel with other instructors.


Valdez, Nelson, and Minik received restraining orders after the incident and the students’ attorneys say Khan started manipulating the restraining orders to target the students “for allegedly violating the orders whenever he or his wife was in the same place with one of them on campus,” thereby taking away the students’ “journalistic and expressive liberties without notice or an opportunity to be heard,” according to Campus Reform.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign administrators told Minik to “stop writing about Khan” if he wanted the situation to get better.

The students sued the school but offered to settle the lawsuit if the university dropped all pending discipline against them, suspended the “no contact” orders they received, and afforded them compensation for damages. Valdez, Nelson, and Minik also wanted the university to change its policy to issue “no contact” orders while respecting students’ First Amendment rights, as well as host a bipartisan First Amendment panel at the school. (RELATED: Why Are Colleges Obsessed With ‘Free Speech Vs. Hate Speech’ Workshops?)

“The University of Illinois, instead of agreeing to a reasonable and generous settlement offer, has decided to waste more of the taxpayers’ money to justify its unconstitutional action against the three student journalists,” the students’ legal counsel Whitman Brisky told Campus Reform.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for comment but received none in time for press.

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