ASU lecturer posts info about Covington student...but it’s the wrong one

An ASU lecturer misidentified a student featured in a recent viral video.

Lillian "Marie" Wallace falsely identified the student in the video as Michael Hodge.

The student reportedly received death threats as a result of the error.

An Arizona State University lecturer falsely identified a Covington Catholic High School student in a post about the viral video in Washington, D.C. last weekend. The professor urged others to call Cincinnati State University, the college the student plans to attend. But, as it turns out, the student she identified was not even in Washington, D.C. on the day the viral video was recorded.

ASU lecturer Lillian “Marie” Wallace falsely identified Michael Hodge, a student at Covington Catholic High School, as the person who confronted Native American Nathan Phillips in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

“The name of the kid in front is Michael Hodge,” Wallace said in a reply to a Facebook post pertaining to the incident made by the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign’s Gender and Women’s Studies department

The Covington student to which Wallace was referring was actually Josh Sandmann.

“They had a post about him on [Covington’s] FB page, saying he wants to be a chef and plans to go to Cincinnati State next year,” the ASU lecturer said, referring to who she thought was Hodge. She listed the phone number for Cincinnati State University admissions, Covington Catholic High School, the Diocese of Covington, and the Diocesan Board of Education.


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Wallace and others misidentified Hodge. As a result, the Hodge family was subject to an onslaught of harassment and death threats, according to tweets by Andrew Hodge, the oldest brother of Michael Hodge. 

“Yesterday was supposed to be a day of celebration for my middle brother Alex, who got married last night,” Andrew Hodge wrote. “Instead my family had to deal with the fallout of my youngest brother#MichaelHodge being falsely accused for standing & smiling in front of an indigenous man with a drum.”

Andrew Hodge elaborated, saying that his family was flooded with harassment and “threats of physical violence.” He tweeted that his parents’ address was even posted online and that the family business had been defamed. The older Hodge brother slammed those who shared this misinformation and stated that people tried to get Cincinnati State to rescind Michael’s admission offer. 

“People then started circulating articles of him regarding his dreams and goals of being a chef, [found] the college he plans on attending and [proceeded] to blow them up encouraging them to rescind [the] offer and calling him a racist POS,” Andrew Hodge said in the tweet thread.

Cincinnati restaurant owner Jeff Ruby vouched that Michael Hodge was not even in Washington, D.C. when the incident occurred, claiming that he was actually at his brother’s wedding with family, reported.

”[Michael] wasn’t even in D.C.,” Ruby said. “His brother was married on Saturday. He had the rehearsal dinner that Friday night and the wedding Saturday.”

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The ASU lecturer has since deleted her original Facebook comment and offered a  apology, stating she was “horrified” by her own behavior.

“I was outraged when I read this and I reposted a post that was NOT correct that had the wrong child’s name in it. I am horrified at my own behavior as there is a child out there trying to live his life and was wrongly identified,” the lecturer stated. “I am now a party of the cause of his fear and misery. I am so SO so sorry to this young man, Michael Hodges. I hope somehow I can get a message to him and let him know. I want to publicly apologize to this young man.”

Campus Reform reached out to Wallace but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @asabes10