Kyle Kashuv, the lone conservative voice among the Parkland shooting survivors turned activists, was booted from Harvard before he could even step foot on campus. The elite university pulled his acceptance after it became clear he'd used racial slurs in high school, he said.
Last month, a classmate posted a video to Twitter of Kashuv and others messaging on a Google Doc in 2017. He wrote the n-word several times and said in one message “fuck the Jews” and “kill the fucking Jews.” After the messages came to light, Kashuv resigned from the conservative youth organization Turning Point USA and called his own comments “idiotic” and “callous.”
Harvard does not comment on the admissions status of its applicants. But Kashuv wrote in a viral Twitter thread Monday that he was withdrawn from the Class of 2023 after being accepted three months ago. He shared a screenshot of an email from Harvard, which said the school “takes seriously the qualities of maturity and moral character.”
“Harvard deciding that someone can’t grow, especially after a life-altering event like the shooting, is deeply concerning,” Kashuv wrote. “If any institution should understand growth, it’s Harvard, which is looked to as the pinnacle of higher education despite its checkered past.”
Kashuv also said that Harvard emailed him asking for an explanation in late May and that he apologized in a letter of his own to the school. He also said his past racist statements were simply meant to be “as extreme and shocking as possible.”
“So what now? I’m figuring it out,” Kashuv continued on Twitter. “I had given up huge scholarships in order to go to Harvard, and the deadline for accepting other college offers has ended. I’m exploring all options at the moment.”
After the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day 2018, Kashuv quickly assumed the position of the lone, vocal pro-gun activist among survivors. He met with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and President Donald Trump and appeared on Fox News numerous times.
He was scheduled to attend Harvard in 2020 after taking a gap-year, along with his classmates, David Hogg and Jaclyn Corin, who became leading voices in the push for stronger gun control after the shooting.
Some ultra-conservative figures — like Ben Shapiro — have jumped to Kashuv’s defense. Shapiro wrote Monday that Harvard was setting “up an insane, cruel standard no one can possibly meet.” And CJ Pearson, another conservative activist, wrote his “heart hurts” for Kashuv.
Cover image: Kyle Kashuv, survivor of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, speaks at the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action Leadership Forum in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Friday, April 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)