(Reuters) – Harvard University has rescinded its admission offer to a survivor of the 2018 massacre at a Florida high school over his past use of racial slurs in an online document posted on Twitter, the student said on Monday.
The student, Kyle Kashuv, was a junior at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida when a gunman opened fire in February 2018 and killed 17 students and staff. He became the target of online criticism last month after images of a shared study guide from more than a year ago circulated on Twitter, showing he wrote anti-black slurs.
“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. I immediately apologised,” Kashuv wrote on Twitter on Monday.
Kashuv said on Twitter that he submitted a written apology to Harvard after the school contacted him asking him to explain the statements he made in the Google document. In response, he said, he received a letter from the admissions dean saying that his acceptance had been revoked.
“The Committee takes seriously the qualities of maturity and moral character. After careful consideration the Committee voted to rescind your admission to Harvard College,” Harvard Admissions Dean William Fitzsimmons wrote to Kashuv on June 3, according to a copy of the letter that Kashuv posted on Twitter.
A representative for Harvard declined to comment on the matter, citing a policy to not comment publicly on the admission status of individual applicants.
Kashuv, who distinguished himself from other Parkland students as a gun rights advocate after the school shooting, said on Twitter that he requested to meet with the admissions committee to discuss the matter in person, but Harvard denied his request.
(This story corrects to show Kashuv was a junior at the time of the shooting, not a senior, in paragraph two)
(Reporting by Gabriella Borter in New York; Editing by Scott Malone and Susan Thomas)