Three freshman at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst have suffered a huge punishment from the college for allegedly violating the university’s virus restrictions policy, according to CBS affiliate WBZ.
The three girls were at an outdoor party off-campus when they took a picture without masks on. The picture was then posted by someone on social media. The picture was subsequently sent to the school administration. The girls were suspended from school and forced to take remote learning for the rest of the semester.
But on top of that, then their remote learning was cut off and they weren’t allowed to take their finals, which meant the whole semester was a waste. They would have to do it over again. They wouldn’t get the money they spent on tuition back, allegedly $16,000 for the semester. Plus, they have to reapply next semester, and they’ve missed housing registration.
A insane penalty for daring to not have a mask on outdoors, plus being off-campus, which the university apparently thinks they can control. For something that, even by the CDC’s assessment, has very little danger. Then someone finked them out to the university. The school claimed that they had given a number of notices to students in general about “public health messages” and the importance of following “public health protocols,” WBZ reported.
“When positive COVID-19 cases surged within the UMass community in February 2021, the university, in consultation with the state Department of Public Health, promptly imposed severe restrictions on campus activities, including the suspension of in-person classes and a prohibition on student social gatherings,” the school continued. “It was made clear to students that those who failed to comply would be subject to discipline, including suspension.
But it’s not clear specifically which protocol the school is alleging was violated, especially given it was an off-campus event. Or that such a severe punishment as losing their semester and their tuition for such a “violation” was ever spelled out.
The girls’ parents feel the punishment is too harsh and have now filed a lawsuit against UMass-Amherst.
Three UMass-Amherst students were sent packing- losing credits and tuition- for taking a picture outdoors without a mask.
— David Wade (@davidwade) May 7, 2021
Among their complaints is the uneven application of the supposed rules. The parents note how the hockey team, which just won the national championship last month, had many people without masks during the celebration. But those students seemingly have suffered no consequences for those actions.
“The university hosted a parade/event to celebrate the UMass hockey team’s national championship win, violating every single one of violations they accuse these girls of,” the parent says. “It also violated a standing executive order by Gov. Charlie Baker that says, ‘no parades, no festivals.'”
Unfortunately, this is just part of the madness now happening on colleges. This isn’t even the only question like this that’s been raised, according to Pro Publica reporter Alec MacGillis.
This was one story about one set of suspensions. But it’s worth noting that similar proceedings have been underway at other colleges. These parents chose to speak out, but many don’t, for fear of publicity etc.
— Alec MacGillis (@AlecMacGillis) May 8, 2021