A 21-year-old student at the University of Central Florida had a unique response to a verbose mea culpa letter written to him by his ex-girlfriend: he graded it, sent it back to her, but also posted it on Twitter, prompting the university to suspend him for two semesters, this summer and fall, for violating the “disruptive conduct” and “harmful behavior” clauses of the student conduct code.
As The Miami Herald reported, Nick Lutz blocked his ex-girlfriend’s cell phone number and any contact on social media. She circumvented that by writing a four-page apology and putting it under the windshield wiper of his car.
Lutz photographed the letter, then sent it to his friends, triggering them to suggest he grade the labyrinth of loquaciousness.
That’s exactly what Lutz did; he wrote notes in the margins in red ink detailing his ex-girlfriend’s “useless filling sentences” and “lackadaisical handwriting,” as well as her spelling errors. He wrote, “Long intro, short conclusion, strong hypothesis but nothing to back it up,” pointing out that when she claimed she hadn’t cheated on him, “Details are important. If you want to be believed, back it up with proof … Need to stop contradicting your own story and pick a side.”
In the end, he deemed the letter worthy of a grade of 61, a D-minus, but offered hope: “Revision for half credit will be accepted. Good luck.”
Lutz’s post on Twitter garnered over 121,000 retweets and was liked nearly 340,000 times as of Wednesday afternoon.
The Herald reported:
His lawyer, Jacob Stuart, said the ex-girlfriend felt she was being cyberbullied. She went to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, but no charges were filed. She went to UCF, where she wasn’t a student, and filed a grievance. Weeks later, Lutz found out he was suspended for Summer and Fall 2017 for violating the “disruptive conduct” and “harmful behavior” clauses of the student conduct code.
Lutz’s lawyer called the decision a violation of his client’s first amendment rights. “I think the damaging thing here is how does UCF decide what’s morally harmful?” Stuart said. “There was nothing derogatory about it. It was obvious he was making fun of her, but that’s the beauty of the constitution.”
Lutz told WFTV, “If they can do that to me, it can happen to almost anybody. That’s upsetting.”
On Wednesday, UCF agreed to give Lutz an appeal; they rescinded his previous sentence.