Outspoken DACA student wants U to expel classmate who encouraged followers to ‘go report this illegal’

Sep 14, 2017 by

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Transylvania University student Paola Garcia is “Undocumented. Unapologetic. Unafraid,” according to her Facebook biography.

The 21-year-old senior psychology major’s profile page includes an image of President Trump with a message transposed over his face: “Not my president.”

Garcia, an illegal immigrant, attends Transylvania University with special protections from deportation through former President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which Trump officially canceled last week.

On Sunday, she took to YouTube to post a six-minute video about alleged harassment from a fellow student on social media that occurred a month ago, and the reluctance of school officials to expel the student for exercising his first amendment rights, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.

“I’m scared, of what the future holds,” Garcia said between sniffles. “My parents and I have lived here since I was two years old. Nineteen years later, America still doesn’t feel like home.

“I’ve dealt with racism, discrimination, threats, name-calling, just blatant ignorance. I usually suck it up, but I can’t do that again. I’ve never asked for help, but that’s what I’m going to do now.

“Over the summer, a student at Transylvania University posted a meme on a racial hatred page … with the comment ‘everyone go report this illegal at my school bragging about breaking the law.’ That night I received numerous messages on Facebook … threatening me with ICE.

“Someone actually sent me a pictures of him filling out a tip form to Homeland Security.”

Garcia read several hateful messages she received in response to the post, which she copied and reported to school officials.

“But according to them, his actions don’t violate the schools non-discrimination policy, which if you read it it’s obvious that he did, and it just doesn’t make sense to me how that was their conclusion,” Garcia said. “Their reasoning was that ‘Mr. Ragg reposted your comment with a recommendation to readers about how to respond to it,’ talking about my bio which said undocumented, unapologetic and unafraid.

“I tried to explain the real threat that deportation is to me and my family, and not only that that racists are emboldened today, and he’s inciting them to harass me and report me. He’s still here and I have to see his face every day. It’s such a small campus,” Garcia continued.

“I ask that you guys contact my school’s administration and ask for Taylor Ragg’s expulsion. Hopefully we as a group can do something, because me on my own wasn’t enough.”

Garcia told the Herald-Leader student Taylor Ragg posted about her in August, but she did not report it to school officials until last Friday, though she did not explain the delay. Ragg, meanwhile, refused to speak with the news site, which he labeled “fake news.”

Transylvania President Seamus Carey offered to discuss the situation with both students, but Ragg declined the invitation, according to The Narrative Times.

School officials would not discuss the situation with the media, opting instead to speak in generalities about harassment on campus.

“Transylvania University does not condone any type of harassment, bullying, hate speech, bigotry, racism,” school spokeswoman Michele Sparks told WKYT. “That is contrary to who we are as an institution, contrary to what we believe in as an institution, and we absolutely 100 percent do not tolerate that on our campus.”

Carey later elaborated in a campus-wide email processing support for DACA students.

It is essential to remember, however, that the way we pursue justice is as important as the outcome we seek,” Carey wrote. “If justice is to be lasting, the means by which it is achieved is as important as the achievement itself. As a country and as an institution, we are governed by laws. These laws protect the freedom to express one’s viewpoints, even when those viewpoints are different from our own. Thus, there are times when our laws seem like an obstacle rather than a support. If we want justice to endure, however, we cannot succumb to frustrations that would have us break the law or violate policies.”

And while Garcia claimed to be scared in the video, she told the Herald-Leader “so many people have offered me their homes as a safe place, and people have offered to walk me places.

“I feel relatively safe right now,” she said.

Source: Outspoken DACA student wants U to expel classmate who encouraged followers to ‘go report this illegal’ | EAGnews.org

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