Student Punished for Halloween Party Invitation
Johns Hopkins University earned its Red Alert designation by suspending student Justin Park for posting an "offensive" Halloween party invitation on Facebook. Park was found guilty of "harassment," "intimidation," and "failing to respect the rights of others." Although his punishment was later reduced in the face of public pressure, it originally included suspension from the university for a year, completion of 300 hours of community service, an assignment to read 12 books and to write a reflection paper on each, and mandatory attendance at a workshop on diversity and race relations. Johns Hopkins President William Brody made matters worse shortly after Park's suspension by introducing new and chillingly broad "Principles for Ensuring Equity, Civility and Respect for All," prohibiting "rude, disrespectful behavior" at the university, and by stating in an article in The JHU Gazette that speech that is "tasteless" or that breaches standards of "civility" will not be allowed.