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University of Kansas Student Fights Expulsion Over Twitter Posts

LAWRENCE, Kan. ― A former University of Kansas student is fighting his expulsion over social media posts about his ex-girlfriend.

The university expelled Navid Yeasin in November 2013 for violating an order not to contact his ex-girlfriend in any way. Yeasin sued earlier this year and a Douglas County judge ruled in September that the school did not have jurisdiction to expel him.

The university’s lawyer has filed a motion asking the court to reconsider its ruling and continue Yeasin’s expulsion until the judge rules.

The university cited its Student Conduct Code, which says a student can be punished for incidents that occur while on campus or at university-sponsored events. Yeasin said the incidents that led to his expulsion didn’t occur on campus. He is currently not enrolled at any university.

During the 2012-2013 school year, Yeasin was dating another KU student in what court documents say was a “tumultuous and at times toxic” relationship. Yeasin drove himself and his now ex-girlfriend around in his car in Olathe during a July 2013 fight, taking her phone and allegedly refusing to let her out of his car, the Lawrence Journal-World reported.

His ex-girlfriend reported the incident to police after Yeasin released her and returned her phone. He was charged with criminal restraint, battery and criminal deprivation of property. To avoid the charges, Yeasin agreed to an Order of Protection from Abuse that banned him from directly or indirectly contacting his ex-girlfriend.

The woman also reported the incident to the university’s Institutional Opportunity and Access department. The office sent Yeasin a letter notifying that they had placed a no contact order on him and that he was prohibited from “any physical, verbal, electronic or written communication with (his ex-girlfriend,) her family, her friends or her associates.”

After receiving the letter, Yeasin made several derogatory Twitter posts about his ex-girlfriend, referring to her as a “psycho” and mocking her appearance, though not specifically mentioning her name.

An office investigator sent him a letter saying that he could be expelled if he continued to mention his ex-girlfriend on social media. Yeasin took to Twitter again to post about the woman.

The office determined Yeasin violated the no contact order by “repeatedly posting demeaning tweets” and the university’s sexual harassment policy. The university held a hearing and expelled Yeasin.

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