Harvard has rescinded admission to Parkland shooting survivor Kyle Kashuv over racist comments he made 2 years ago

  • The Parkland shooting survivor and gun-rights activist Kyle Kashuv said his Harvard University admission for the class of 2023 had been rescinded.
  • He said his admission was revoked “over texts and comments made nearly two years ago.”
  • Kashuv apologised in May over comments he sent to friends in a Google Doc and in texts that featured racist slurs, including the N-word.
  • The comments were made when Kashuv was 16, months before the February 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 people.
  • Harvard would not comment on Kashuv’s case but said it “reserves the right to withdraw an offer of admission” for a number of reasons.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

The Parkland shooting survivor and gun-rights activist Kyle Kashuv said Harvard University rescinded his admission over racist comments he made in messages that surfaced online last month.

In a Twitter thread on Monday, Kashuv said: “Three months after being admitted to Harvard Class of 2023, Harvard has decided to rescind my admission over texts and comments made nearly two years ago.”

Kashuv apologised in May after comments he sent to friends in a Google Doc and in texts featuring racist slurs, including the N-word, surfaced online.

In one excerpt of the Google Doc, Kashuv is seen saying the N-word 11 times in a row before saying: “Like im really good at typing n—– OK like practice uhhhhhh makes perfect.” He was also accused of referring to black student athletes as “n—–jocks” in a text message, according to The Daily Beast.

The comments were made when Kashuv was 16, months before the February 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 people.

“A few weeks ago, I was made aware of egregious and callous comments classmates and I made privately years ago-when I was 16 years old, months before the shooting-in an attempt to be as extreme and shocking as possible,” Kashuv said in the Twitter thread about his admission being rescinded. “I immediately apologised.”

The thread featured a screenshot of his public apology for the comments, letters from Harvard’s admissions office, and his apology to Harvard.

The first letter he shared was one from Harvard, which asked for a written explanation of his comments and said it had the right to withdraw its admission offer after it became “aware of media reports discussing offensive statements allegedly authored by you.”

Kashuv said in his response that he had been “part of a group in which we used abhorrent racial slurs.”


Read more:
The school resource officer who failed to confront the Parkland gunman has been charged with child neglect, but experts say you can’t ‘criminalise cowardice’

“We did so out of a misplaced sense of humour: We treated the words themselves as though they bore little weight and used them only for their shock value,” he said.

Kashuv said that, during his gap year, he would include “reaching out to minority communities” as part of his activism.

After receiving Kashuv’s explanation and apology, the school rescinded his admission, Kashuv said.

Harvard would not comment on Kashuv’s situation but said it “reserves the right to withdraw an offer of admission” for certain reasons, including if a student “engages or has engaged in behaviour that brings into question their honesty, maturity or moral character.”

INSIDER has contacted Kashuv for comment. He said on Twitter that the incident is “deeply concerning.”

“Harvard deciding that someone can’t grow, especially after a life-altering event like the shooting, is deeply concerning,” Kashuv tweeted. “If any institution should understand growth, it’s Harvard, which is looked to as the pinnacle of higher education despite its checkered past.”

He added: “In the end, this isn’t about me, it’s about whether we live in a society in which forgiveness is possible or mistakes brand you as irredeemable, as Harvard has decided for me.”

Because of his pro-gun stance after the Parkland shooting, Kashuv appeared on Fox News, met with President Donald Trump, and spoke at a National Rifle Association conference.

He stepped down from his role with Turning Point USA in May just before screenshots of the racist comments went public. At the time, he said he was taking a gap year before college in 2020 to “push for more school safety legislation.”

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