Two Babson College students who staged a rolling Donald Trump victory celebration at Wellesley College will not face any punishment, according to attorneys for the men.
In a campus free-speech case that put a national spotlight on Babson, Edward Tomasso and Parker Rand-Ricciardi yesterday were found not responsible on counts of disorderly conduct and harassment for their political demonstration, their attorneys said.
Previous Story: A modern day ‘witch hunt’
Previous Story: Babson College may be sued for defamation of character
The pair had been called before Babson’s Honor Board on Friday and participated in a lengthy closed-door hearing. The board cleared the men of any wrongdoing in a written decision today, their lawyers said.
“This has been an extremely difficult, painful five weeks for Parker and his family, one that has naturally taken a toll on them,” Jeffrey Robbins, Rand-Ricciardi’s lawyer, said in a prepared statement. “They are grateful for the kindness and support of so many people, including both friends and complete strangers. Their hope is to spend some time decompressing and enjoying the holidays.”
Robbins is a Herald lawyer and contributor.
Social media posts had claimed Rand-Ricciardi and Tomasso shouted racial and homophobic slurs while driving a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck and flying a Trump flag through the Wellesley College campus on Nov. 9, the day after the presidential election. But campus police were unable to find witnesses to corroborate those claims.
“The board made clear that the initial allegations involving claims of things that were supposedly said and done were not true,” said Brad Bailey, Tomasso’s attorney.
The men were banned from Babson’s campus for a month, until the probe was complete, but within the first few days were heavily criticized by Babson President Kerry Healey, other administrators and dozens of faculty members — including some Honor Board members who then had to be excluded from the case. Babson College would not discuss the outcome of the case yesterday.
“As a matter of policy, and in accordance with federal law, Babson College does not comment on specific student conduct matters,” said Michael Chmura, a school spokesman.
Ari Cohn, an attorney with the Philadelphia-based Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, said the charges should have been dropped earlier.
“FIRE is pleased that Babson College has exonerated these students from meritless disciplinary charges that were based on mere political expression,” Cohn said. “Any institution, like Babson College, that professes to respect its students’ freedom of expression must make sure that its campus community can express their views without fearing disciplinary action.”
(c)2016 the Boston Herald
Visit the Boston Herald at www.bostonherald.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.