Conservative Parkland survivor Kyle Kashuv announced on Twitter Monday that Harvard University rescinded the 18-year-old’s admission over him using the N-word in private messages months before the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
“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,” Kashuv tweeted, followed by a 13-tweet threat including letters to and from the university about the situation.
1/ THREAD: Harvard rescinded my acceptance.
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.
I have some thoughts. Here’s what happened.
— Kyle Kashuv (@KyleKashuv) June 17, 2019
Admitted earlier this year, Kashuv planned to attend the Ivy League university starting in the fall of 2020 after taking a gap year following high school. In May, however, the university contacted Kashuv demanding an explanation for his use of the word “n—-r” in messages with friends when Kashuv was 16 that were leaked to media after he became a prominent advocate for gun rights. The messages occurred months before the Parkland massacre that left 17 dead and 17 wounded, and which Kashuv said “forced me to mature and grow in an incredibly drastic way.”
The Huffington Post published leaked text and Skype messages from a former student and a current student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School dated in late 2017 and early 2018 showing Kashuv using racial slurs.
“[She] goes for n—-rjocks,” Kashuv texted one student. Another instance shows Kashuv repeating the N-word in all caps on a midterm study guide where he wrote that he is “really good at typing n—-r ok like practice uhhhhhh makes perfect.” Huffington Post did not release the identities of the fellow students who sent them the incriminating messages.
As the comments came to light, Kashuv immediately apologized and offered Harvard a lengthy explanation and apology as political opponents urged the university to rescind his admission. Kashuv also reached out to Harvard’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion to seek help on navigating the situation and how to make things right.
“I am deeply sorry for my past comments, I know I am not the same person,” Kashuv wrote to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. “During my gap year, I will supplement my activism to include reaching out to minority communities. I am open to any advice or suggestions on activities I might pursue during my gap year in pursuit of that goal.”
Kashuv’s apology, explanation, and outreach efforts weren’t enough for the university, which ultimately revoked his admission. Following the university’s decision, Kashuv requested an in-person meeting with university officials, which they rejected.
Kashuv emerged on the national spotlight following the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018. While many of Kashuv’s classmates became staunch advocates for gun control in the shooting’s aftermath, Kashuv became a leading figure advocating for gun rights and served as a national staff member for Turning Point USA before stepping down from the conservative organization earlier this year.