Male College Student Commits Suicide After Being Accused And Punished For Sexual Harassment Without Due Process

Thomas Klocke, a straight male student from the University of Texas at Arlington, committed suicide after he was accused of alleged sexual misconduct and punished for it without any form of due process. Klocke was punished by the university for his alleged behavior even though "the school administrators who investigated the incident acknowledged there was no evidence to support the accuser’s claims" and he fiercely denied taking part in any misconduct.

As reported by "The accused student’s father, a lawyer acting as the administrator of his son’s estate, is now suing the school for violating his son’s Title IX rights."

Klocke was accused by a gay student of typing slurs in his computer browser during a class. He was punished for the alleged incident, though he vehemently denied the claim and was not given an opportunity to defend himself. He was even barred from speaking to other members of his own class, who would possibly help corroborate his side of the story.

According to the accusing student, as reported by Watchdog, Klocke "made a comment during a class about 'privilege,' and then proceeded to open his laptop and type 'gays should die' into his web browser’s search bar. The accuser ... claims he typed into his own browser search bar, 'I’m gay.'"

The student then said Klocke, under his breath, told him: “Well, then you’re a faggot.” After allegedly asking the accused to leave the classroom, Klocke supposedly said: “You should consider killing yourself.”

According to the suit from Klocke's father, his son claimed the accuser actually made sexual advances toward him. After Klocke rebuffed the gay student, telling him he was straight, the rejected student likely made up the accusation against Klocke, says the suit.

"Klocke received no hearing, even though he contradicted his accuser’s claims," notes Watchdog. UTA Associate Director of Academic Integrity Daniel Moore informed the student that "he was immediately prohibited from attending the class where the incident was alleged to have occurred."

Then Klocke's rights were further trampled. Watchdog reports:

When Klocke was informed that an accusation had been lodged against him, he was not told the name of his accuser. Klocke was also informed that he could not contact anyone in the class, directly or indirectly, effectively denying him any ability to find witnesses to corroborate his story.

His accuser was able to remain in the class and find witnesses. He found only one, who didn’t corroborate his account but did say he overheard someone say “you should leave.” This could have been said by either Klocke or his accuser in either of their stories.

Klocke told Moore he needed to attend the class and asked for more information about the accusation against him. Moore ignored this request but sent Klocke a “summons letter” on May 20. The lawsuit alleges Moore never informed Klocke that this was a Title IX investigation (as Moore usually handled academic issues) or Klocke’s rights under Title IX.

Moore also never told Klocke that he would not be allowed a hearing.

Klocke was charged with "physical abuse or threat thereof and a non-specific violation of the school’s anti-harassment policy," though the student was never even accused of physical violence or threat.

The accused would eventually take his own life, though he "had no prior history of mental health problems, and by all accounts was happy and looking forward to the future after graduation," notes Watchdog. ​

None of this, namely a lack of evidence from the accuser, Klocke's side of the story, and a lack of due process, mattered to UTA; Klocke was accused on a college campus and thus guilty.

The negation of due process on college campuses, which disproportionately effects straight males, has increasingly become a problem across the country since former President Barack Obama's now-infamous "dear colleague" letter, issued on April 4, 2011.

As noted by The Washington Post, the letter directed publicly-funded colleges "to use the lowest possible standard of proof, a preponderance of evidence, in sexual assault cases"; "allow accusers to appeal not-guilty findings, a form of double jeopardy"; "told schools to accelerate their adjudications, with a recommended 60-day limit"; and "strongly discouraged cross-examination of accusers."

In other words, those accused - almost always straight males - are to be stripped of their rights in the name of social justice. Klocke was seemingly the latest victim.

What's Your Reaction?