Student suspended for giving ex’s apology letter a D-minus
from NY Post
When Nick Lutz, a senior at the University of Central Florida, graded an apology letter from an ex-girlfriend, he never knew giving her a D-minus would cause him so much further heartache.
Lutz, 21, tweeted the letter back in February after he got the idea from friends to take a red pen to the thoughtful yet flawed missive by a former girlfriend who reached out after he blocked her cellphone number and erased her from his social media circles. He now finds himself suspended for the summer and fall semesters for violating the “disruptive conduct” and “harmful behavior” clauses of the university’s student conduct code, the Miami Herald reports.
“Strong statement,” Lutz wrote in red ink in the left margin. “No supporting details to support your hypothesis.”
Lutz also criticized the letter for lacking indentation and “too long of an introduction,” with “lots of repetition.”
“How? Need reasoning here,” Lutz’s critique continued.
The tweet posted a few days after Valentine’s Day has since gone viral, racking up more than 121,000 retweets. In conclusion, Lutz graded the four-page letter a 61 out of 100, or a D-minus.
“Long intro, short conclusion, strong hypothesis but nothing to back it up,” he wrote. “Details are important. If you want to be believed, back it up with proof … Revision for half credit will be accepted.”
Lutz confirmed the suspension in a Facebook post on Monday, saying the ordeal has “caused much stress” for himself and his family.
“This also violates my 1st amendment right to freedom of expression, no matter who agrees or disagrees with it,” he wrote. “As a result, I am sharing this story to alert everyone, including the 60K+ students of UCF, that out school is deciding what posts they like and dislike; We should all be scared and stand up to this type of action!”
Lutz said he has appealed the decision. His attorney, Jacob Stuart, said Lutz’s ex-girlfriend — who is not a student at UCF — felt the letter amounted to cyberbullying. She spoke to officials at the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office before filing a grievance with the university.
“I think the damaging thing here is how does UCF decide what’s morally harmful?” Stuart told the Miami Herald. “There was nothing derogatory about it. It was obvious he was making fun of her, but that’s the beauty of the Constitution.”
Lutz’s letter also did not identify the woman aside from her first name, according to a July 17 letter to the university appealing the decision.
“If UCF were to pursue alleged conduct code violation against students, shouldn’t UCF be suspending students for students posting about our current President’s physical appearances as being too old, too fat or too bald,” the letter continued. “Or should UCF allow a social media post from a student that Secretary Hillary Clinton not being fit to run for President since she is a woman?”
A message seeking comment from UCF spokeswoman Courtney Gilmartin was not immediately returned Wednesday, but she told the Miami Herald that all rulings are subject to appeal.
“It’s important to understand that the process in this case may yet not be complete,” Gilmartin said.
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