Americas

Harvard pulls Parkland student offer ‘over slurs’

A teenager who survived a gun massacre at his Florida high school has said he lost his spot at Harvard University over past racist remarks.

Kyle Kashuv, 18, said the online comments were made when he was 16, and were done “in an effort to be as extreme and shocking as possible”.

On Monday, he tweeted what appeared to be a letter from the Harvard dean of admissions rescinding his admission.

Seventeen students and faculty were killed in Parkland, Florida in 2018.

“Harvard deciding that someone can’t grow, especially after a life-altering event like the shooting, is deeply concerning,” he posted in a thread to his 300,000 Twitter followers.

13/ So what now? I’m figuring it out.

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.

End of Twitter post by @KyleKashuv

“If any institution should understand growth, it’s Harvard, which is looked to as the pinnacle of higher education despite its chequered past,” he wrote, adding: “Throughout its history, Harvard’s faculty has included slave owners, segregationists, bigots and anti-Semites,”

“If Harvard is suggesting that growth isn’t possible and that our past defines our future, then Harvard is an inherently racist institution. But I don’t believe that.”

A spokeswoman for Harvard told CNN on Monday that the university does “not comment publicly on the admissions status of individual applicants”.

Since the shooting, Mr Kashuv has stood apart from his peers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School by calling for private gun rights to be protected under the US constitution’s second amendment. Many of the Parkland shooting survivors have focused their efforts on gun control in the wake of the shooting.

Classmates David Hogg and Jaclyn Corin – who called for more restrictions on gun sales after surviving the massacre – are due to begin their study at Harvard, one of the most prestigious schools in the US, in 2020.

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