Student ousted from Christian school for TikTok 'hate speech' criticizing Black Lives Matter
- One student is no longer enrolled at Hardin Simmons University after her peers called for the university to respond to controversial social media posts.
- The university made a public statement confirming that the student is no longer enrolled at the school.
A Christian university has confirmed that a student is no longer enrolled after a “disciplinary process” resulting from social media posts critical of the Black Lives Matter movement. Now, former Hardin Simmons University student Ashleigh Brock regularly posts political videos on TikTok. Her videos about the Black Lives Matter movement sparked outrage on Twitter.
In one of Brock’s TikTok posts, she pointed out what she characterized as a hypocritical societal reaction between a black person killing a white person, a black person killing another black person, and a white person killing a black person. The video drew harsh criticism after a Twitter account called #blacklivesmatter posted it to Twitter calling for HSU to impose “serious consequences.”
This is Ashleigh Brock, she goes to Hardin Simmons University in Abilene,Tx. There needs to be serious consequences for these actions (in actions I mean racism). Not only has she done it one time but she's done it multiple times! #ashleighbrockisracist @HSUTX pic.twitter.com/eFjY4PiwHL— #blacklivesmatter (@Thisisnotokay15) June 24, 2020
In another TikTok post, while wearing an HSU t-shirt, Brock said that “all lives matter” and asked why people “freak out when a white person kills a black person,” but do not elicit the same reaction when a “black person kills a white person.”
“Do black lives matter? Yes, of course. Do white lives matter? Yes, of course. But I’m not gonna sit here and put each one in a group saying this race matters,” Brock said in the video.
In response, the official HSU Twitter account tweeted regarding a “deeply disappointing and unacceptable social media post by one of our students,” that was “not reflective of the Christian values” of HSU.
“We are actively investigating and taking decisive action,” the university added.
An open letter was circulated throughout the HSU faculty in response to Brock’s post condemning her actions.
"We, as members of the faculty of Hardin-Simmons University, denounce racism and repudiate any attempt to dismiss the realities of racial injustice in the United States. We emphatically say Black lives matter,” the letter reads.
Three days later, HSU President Eric Bruntmyer made a campus address. In the video, Bruntmyer said that Brock’s actions were “wrong” and HSU wants to bring about “meaningful change.”
"As citizens, we have certain rights of freedom of speech in public forums, like many of the social media platforms. However, within the HSU community, that right is always linked with a responsibility as Christians, as well as an inherent responsibility in the consequences of our words and our actions,” Bruntmyer stated in reference to Brock’s posts.
"Social media can be a powerful tool. Used in the wrong way, it can have detrimental consequences, Bruntmyer continued. “The views we express on social media should reflect the values and beliefs we uphold as followers of Christ. We must all use these platforms to build each other up and not tear each other down."
“As Christians, we are called to love one another as Christ first loved us. We must hold one another accountable to this standard. Hate speech or racist comments are completely unacceptable. We do not want to condone behavior that questions people’s worth, their value, their dignity, or their equality,” Bruntmyer said.
Citing privacy concerns, Bruntmyer stated that he could not disclose the disciplinary actions that were taken against Brock but can confirm that she is “no longer enrolled at Hardin Simmons University.”
Moving forward, HSU’s goal is to “prioritize anti-racism education” according to Bruntmyer.
As a reply to Campus Reform’s request for comment, Hardin-Simmons University said that it does “not have any additional information to share beyond what [it has] already communicated publicly.”