An American Civil Liberties Union official in Kentucky condemned Transylvania University for accepting Nicholas Sandmann as a student. According to the ACLU, this move is a "stain" on the institution.
Sandmann College Admission Stirs Controversy
In January 2019, during a pro-life rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., a Native American activist stood in front of Sandmann and began chanting in his face. Back then, as a supporter of President Trump, Sandmann who was wearing a MAGA hat, held his ground and smiled at the man as he continued to talk in his face.
“Does anyone else think it’s a bit of a stain on Transylvania University for accepting Nick Sandman [sic]? I’m sure it’s a “both sides” defense, but it’s pretty counter to their mission and another instance of there not actually being equal sides to an issue,” Samuel Crankshaw wrote in Facebook.
The comment has already been taken down.
Following the confrontation in 2019, CNN and The Washington Post were accused of casting Sandmann and his fellow Covington Catholic students on purpose, as the main aggressors with misleading reporting. After Sandmann sued both outlets for $250 million, they ultimately reached a legal settlement with him.
Sandmann’s lawyers pleaded damages for the "emotional distress Nicholas and his family suffered" and stated they would sue other major outlets who reported on the story in the same way.
Just before the comment on Facebook was taken down, Avery Tompkins, an assistant professor and diversity scholar at Transylvania University, called Sandmann's “public behavior and rhetoric atrocious and uninformed,"
According to Tompkins, Sandmann is a part of groups that hold “anti-intellectualist views” and would see the professor "as part of some liberal brainwashing machine, but signing up for Transy and my class means he is required to learn that information, even if he disagrees.”
The professor added that “If he were to cause problems by being disruptive, trolling, or engaging in unethical behavior of any kind, I would immediately document it (just like I would for any student doing the same thing)…and he would just be putting himself in a position for me to file a conduct report.”
A bit later, Avery Tompkins wrote an apology stating, “I want to apologize for my mistake in singling out a student and any misunderstandings that arose from that.”
In a statement to National Review on Tuesday, the university said it would be reviewing the situation and that “Transylvania, like nearly every campus, is composed of those holding the full range of viewpoints.”