Florida State University Apologizes For Student's Offensive Tweets

Wednesday, September 14th 2011, 10:19 pm
By: News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Florida State University sends out a public apology after one of its students tweets offensive messages to an OU football player.

The university said it is also taking disciplinary action against the student.

The offensive tweets took aim at the OU player's family, the Oklahoma City bombing and deceased football player Austin Box.

"I was disgusted," said Mary B. Coburn, Florida State's Vice President for Student Affairs.

So much so that Coburn, along with the FSU student body president and athletic director, issued a letter of apology to OU students, faculty, staff and friends.

"On behalf of the entire Florida State University community, we would like to send our most sincere regrets about the deplorable messages that were sent via social media by one of our students. In no way does this individual represent our University."

"Florida State University does not support that action," said Coburn. "We are a positive, welcoming, value-based institution. So on that front we really need to correct the wrong."

As far as the student, Coburn says they are taking appropriate action but privacy laws won't let her say what.

"I'm certain if this guy were in the presence of Mr. Jefferson he would not have made the same comment," said Jon Epstein, a First Amendment attorney.

Epstein says the university may be able to take action against the student because he not only violated the school's code of conduct that limits harassment, but possibly Oklahoma law.

"The statute is written broadly enough that this type of thing arguably could fall into it," Epstein said.