University of Oklahoma expels frat students for racist song, but is it legal?

University of Oklahoma President David Boren has expelled two students from the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity who have been identified as being involved in singing a racist song, but questions have been raised as to the constitutionality of such a move.

Boren announced the expulsion Monday via a press release that he also tweeted.

“I have emphasized that there is zero tolerance for this kind of threatening, racist behavior at the University of Oklahoma,” he said.

Students at the University of Oklahoma protest SAE Fraternity Monday via Twitter @ajplus.
Students at the University of Oklahoma protest SAE Fraternity Monday via Twitter @ajplus.

“I hope that the entire nation will join us in having zero tolerance of such racism when it raises its ugly head in other situations across our country. I am extremely proud of the reaction and response expressed by our entire university family — students, faculty, staff and alumni about this incident. They are ‘Real Sooners’ who believe in mutual respect for all. I hope that students involved in this incident will learn from this experience and realize that it is wrong to use words to hurt, threaten and exclude other people.”

He also hinted that more expulsions may be coming.

“We will continue our investigation of all the students engaged in the singing of this chant,” Boren added. “Once their identities have been confirmed, they will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.”

But a writer for the Washington Post contends that Boren is not allowed to expel students from a public university for such reasons.

“Racist speech is constitutionally protected, just as is expression of other contemptible ideas; and universities may not discipline students based on their speech,” Post contributor Eugene Volokh wrote. “That has been the unanimous view of courts that have considered campus speech codes and other campus speech restrictions.”

“Likewise, speech doesn’t lose its constitutional protection just because it refers to violence,” he said. “‘You can hang him from a tree,’ ‘the capitalists will be the first ones up against the wall when the revolution comes,’ ‘by any means necessary’ with pictures of guns, ‘apostates from Islam should be killed.'”

Freedom of speech is hardest to defend when the speech is its most vile. Let’s see how the left — which would be screaming if students got expelled for “hands up, don’t shoot,” will handle this one.


Please help us! If you are fed up with letting radical big tech execs, phony fact-checkers, tyrannical liberals and a lying mainstream media have unprecedented power over your news please consider making a donation to BPR to help us fight them. Now is the time. Truth has never been more critical!

Success! Thank you for donating. Please share BPR content to help combat the lies.
Carmine Sabia


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

PLEASE JOIN OUR NEW COMMENT SYSTEM! We love hearing from our readers and invite you to join us for feedback and great conversation. If you've commented with us before, we'll need you to re-input your email address for this. The public will not see it and we do not share it.

Latest Articles