San Jose State University expels students accused of bullying black roommate
SAN JOSE, Calif. — San Jose State University has expelled three students accused of bullying and tormenting their black roommate by putting a bike lock around his neck and calling him derogatory names.
A fourth student has been put on probation for the rest of his college career if he returns, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
The four students, who are white, have pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor battery and hate crime charges. They are accused of putting the bike lock on then-freshman Donald Williams and taunting him with racial slurs, locking him in his room and waving a Confederate flag.
Williams filed a $5 million claim against the university.
The expelled students are banned from enrolling in any California State University college, according to university documents obtained by the newspaper.
“It's a no-brainer,” said LaDoris Cordell, a retired judge and city police watchdog. “They have no business being enrolled at SJSU.”
A lawyer for one of the expelled students said the school did not conduct a thorough review.
“We were very disappointed with the school's process,” attorney Eric Geffon said. “It was clear early on they had already made up their mind.”
Joseph Bomgardner, 19, was the only student who was not expelled. He agreed to the suspension and other sanctions without admitting his participation. He has to complete counseling and attend a follow-up meeting with school officials. If he decides to return to school, he will be placed on permanent probation.
The lighter punishment “may give an inkling of the participation or lack of it of my client,” Bomgardner's lawyer Sam Polverino said.
A university spokeswoman said the school cannot comment on disciplinary matters.
As a result of the incident, San Jose State set up a task force to review Williams' case. The task force determined the school waited too long to discipline the students accused of bullying Williams.
It made several recommendations, including more diversity training for employees and students and a mobile app for reporting hate crimes.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Next hurdle for health care likely tax season
- Pilot in F-15 crash was decorated veteran
- Astronomers get look at birth of huge galaxy
- Half-ton alligator sets world record
- Uzi victim’s family feels sorry for girl, 9, who squeezed trigger
- Rosa Parks items sell for $4.5M
- Odds of ‘megadrought’ in Southwest rises to 50%, study says
- Legendary ‘Walking Dead’ unit deactivated by Marines
- Judge strikes down Texas abortion law
- McDonnell case heads for jurors
- Military: Pilot was killed in Virginia F-15 crash