Harvard students’ ouster over offensive posts stirs debate

LAS VEGAS (AP) – Harvard University’s recent decision to rescind admission offers to 10 incoming freshmen because of offensive Facebook posts is drawing attention from far beyond the halls of the Ivy League school.

Some say the move was incongruent with free speech, while others say zero tolerance for racist comments should be the standard for all institutions of higher education. Other colleges across the U.S. say the case is an eye-opener for those involved in the admissions process.

Harvard’s student newspaper reported that the Cambridge, Massachusetts, school rescinded the admissions offers in April after discovering the students traded offensive messages on a private Facebook group. The posts were often sexually explicit and mocked Mexicans, the Holocaust, sexual assault and child abuse.

Harvard declined to comment, but it does tell accepted students that their offers can be withdrawn if their behavior brings into question their honesty or moral character.

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