Kyle Kashuv, a Parkland high school shooting survivor who rose to fame among conservatives for opposing his classmates’ anti-gun efforts, announced Monday that his acceptance to Harvard University had been rescinded after past messages of him using the N-word came to light.
Mr. Kashuv, who attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, when 17 students and staff members were killed by a lone gunman on Feb. 14, 2018, apologized last month after classmates accused him of using racial slurs.
“We were 16-year-olds making idiotic comments, using callous and inflammatory language in an effort to be as extreme and shocking as possible,” Mr. Kashuv said at the time. “I’m embarrassed by it, but I want to be clear that the comments I made are not indicative of who I am or who I’ve become in the years since.”
The teen said he received a wave of backlash over the ordeal, as did Harvard after it was announced that he would be attending the Ivy League school. He wrote in a series of tweets Monday morning that Harvard ultimately revoked his admission earlier this month following a review of the comments he made as a 16-year-old.
“As you know, the Committee takes seriously the qualities of maturity and moral character,” Harvard wrote in a June 3 letter to Mr. Kashuv. “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.”
Mr. Kashuv said the university declined his request for an in-person meeting to “make my case face to face and work towards any possible path of reconciliation.”
“Harvard deciding that someone can’t grow, especially after a life-altering event like the shooting, is deeply concerning,” he 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 [anti-Semites],” he continued. “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.
“I believe that institutions and people can grow. I’ve said that repeatedly. In the end, this isn’t about me, it’s about whether we live in a society in which forgiveness is possible or mistakes brand you as irredeemable, as Harvard has decided for me,” he added. “So what now? I’m figuring it out. I had given up huge scholarships in order to go to Harvard, and the deadline for accepting other college offers has ended. I’m exploring all options at the moment.”
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