Expulsion of University of Oklahoma students sparks free speech debate

Legal experts say the University of Oklahoma had no right to expel the fraternity members who used racial slurs and chants on a video that went viral. 

Robert Corn-Revere, a First Amendment attorney, says the expulsion letter sent by the school's president to the students clearly violates free speech laws. 

"The university president in his letter of expelling the two students because what they said was ugly and abhorrent, and he's right about that it is ugly and abhorrent and should not be condoned, but can a government entity like a state university penalize people? The First Amendment says no," said Corn-Revere.

Many universities have a code of conduct written into campus policy, but Corn-Revere says that doesn't even hold up in court. 

"A number of universities have codes of conduct and here they walk a fairly fine line.. because you can prevent harassment as it's defined by the Supreme Court..which is going much further than simply saying words that offend and here that's what we have," Corn-Revere said. 

The attorney says the University of Oklahoma had every right to de-certify the fraternity, which it has done. 

Whether or not this rises to the level of a court case, Corn-Revere says, depends on if the students even want to fight it. 
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