Clemson University: Student Charged with Harassment and Disorderly Conduct for Single Email
Clemson student William Kirwan was charged with "Disorderly Conduct," "Harassment," "Failure to Comply with Official Request," and "Computer Misuse" after he told Clemson administrator Laura McMaster via email that "I'm not going to let you bully the organization into doing the things you want us to do or perceive as important" with regard to his group's choice not to participate in a student organization fair, and joked that she was "smoking crack." FIRE wrote Clemson president James F. Barker on May 24, 2010, to remind him that Kirwan's speech was protected by the First Amendment. Clemson dropped all charges against Kirwan the following day.
- "Victory: Clemson Drops All Charges Against Student Accused of ‘Disorderly Conduct’ for E-Mail," May 26, 2010: Clemson University has withdrawn "disorderly conduct," "harassment," and two other charges against a student who e-mailed an administrator using "language and tone" that another administrator found "unacceptable." After undergraduate William Kirwan was charged with a variety of offenses in violation of his First Amendment rights, he turned to FIRE for help.
- "Clemson University Letter to William Kirwan," May 25, 2010
- "Letter from Clemson University General Counsel Clay Steadman to FIRE," May 25, 2010
- "FIRE Letter to Clemson University President James F. Barker," May 24, 2010
- "Disciplinary Charges Against William Kirwan," May 19, 2010
- "William Kirwan E-mails," May 13, 2010
- "'Washington Post' Writer Concurs With FIRE on Clemson Case," by Peter Bonilla, June 2, 2010