Parkland survivor Kyle Kashuv, 18, has Harvard admission rescinded after discovery of anti-Semitic, racist comments
Harvard University has reportedly rescinded admission acceptance of a survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida.
The teenager, Kyle Kashuv, took to Twitter on Monday to announce that the university had made the decision after the unearthing of racist and anti-Semitic comments he made in text messages and a shared Google doc with classmates prior to the shooting.
"Three months after being admitted to Harvard Class of 2023, Harvard has decided to rescind my admission over texts and comments made nearly two years ago, months prior to the shooting," the 18-year-old tweeted.
The teen said that he "was made aware of egregious and callous comments" he and his classmates had made "privately", in an "attempt to be as extreme and shocking as possible."
Reports state that his classmates had accused him of using the N-word multiple times. Kashuv, in turn, shared a screenshot of his apology, acknowledging that he had made "idiotic comments, using callous and inflammatory language at the age of 16."
Kashuv, in his tweet, added: "After I issued this apology, speculative articles were written, my peers used this opportunity to attack me, and my life was once again reduced to a headline. It sent me into one of the darkest spirals of my life. After the story broke, former peers [and] political opponents began contacting Harvard urging them to rescind me,” he claimed.
“Harvard then sent this letter stating that Harvard ‘reserves the right to withdraw an offer of admission and requested a written explanation within 72 hours," the teen wrote.
Keshuv added that he responded to Harvard's letter sent to him on May 24 with a "full explanation, apology, and requested documents," adding that he had sent an email to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to “seek guidance on how to right this wrong.”
Kashuv, in his explanation, also said that he had been "part of a group in which we used abhorrent racial slurs." "We did so out of a misplaced sense of humor: We treated the words themselves as though they bore little weight and used them only for their shock value,” he added.
The teen said that despite his explanation, Harvard proceeded to withdraw his admission. The prestigious institution, in a letter dated June 3, wrote: "As you know, the Committee takes seriously the qualities of maturity and moral character. We are sorry about the circumstances that have led us to withdraw your admission, and we wish you success in your future academic endeavors and beyond.”
Kashuv also added that he then sent an email to Harvard Admissions Dean William Fitzsimmons, asking for an in-person meeting to “make my case face to face and work towards any possible path of reconciliation." However, his request was rejected.
“Harvard deciding that someone can’t grow, especially after a life-altering event like the shooting, is deeply concerning,” Kashuv tweeted.
“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."
The teen also noted that he is "exploring all options at the moment" as the deadline for accepting other college offers has passed.
After the Parkland shooting, Kashuv -- unlike other survivors like David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez -- became an outspoken gun rights activist and a high school outreach director for pro-President Trump group Turning Point USA. But Kashuv announced in May that he was leaving Turning Point just hours before the racial screenshots became public.