Even Zimmerman Has Rights

George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old man who shot and killed Trayvon Martin, has been an in-and-out student at Seminole State College. Now he is out–expelled by the college. Why did Seminole do this? Zimmerman is certainly in a lot of trouble, but he has not yet been convicted, tried, indicted or even arrested. Did the college hold some sort of rigorous but unpublicized hearing? No. Did officials, too impatient to wait for a trial, just conclude he was a murderous racist? No, that doesn’t seem to be the reason either, at least judging by the statement Seminole put out. Here’s what Seminole said: Zimmerman was expelled because of “the highly charged and high-profile controversy” surrounding him. He generated emotions and publicity that made the college uncomfortable. This shows that small colleges can be as unprincipled as great ones (Yale, Duke) in acting without principle, procedures or any attention at all to student rights.

John Leo

John Leo is the editor of Minding the Campus, dedicated to chronicling imbalances within higher education and restoring intellectual pluralism to our American universities. His popular column, "On Society," ran in U.S.News & World Report for 17 years.

3 thoughts on “Even Zimmerman Has Rights

  1. Well… think about it this way. Seminole State College officials are correct. Zimmerman is apart of a pretty emotionally charged issue. In a way, the college is protecting him. Some college students may act on their own with vengeful intent. You can’t participate in a trial if you’re dead. For the sake of protecting Zimmerman until he gets his day in court, it makes sense to remove him from the college campus in order to protect him.

  2. In standard English, the sentence “Even Zimmerman has rights.” means that he is obviously guilty.
    Do you really mean this?

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