The more time you spend claiming that American colleges are hotbeds of gang rapes and sexual assault, the more the colleges will go into reactive mode and begin layering on rule after rule to try to prove to the naysayers that they are doing everything possible to prevent such horrors. This leads to zero tolerance policies which actually set the bar so far below zero that the dragnet will begin dredging up far more than you’d care to see. Such was the case at Navarro College in Texas earlier this month when an autistic student was expelled for sexual assault after mistaking a female student for one of his friends and kissing her on the top of the head.
Ashe Schow at the Washington Examiner reports:
Brian Ferguson, a 20-year-old with autism attending special-needs classes at Navarro College in Texas, had been expelled for sexual assault. But what he did that constitutes sexual assault will leave you scratching your head.
Ferguson is 6’5” and gives hugs to his friends with a kiss on the top of their head since he towers over them. A week ago, that got him expelled. The problem arose when Ferguson thought he saw a woman he recognized and gave her one of his trademark greetings — except that the woman was a stranger.
“And then [the school] labeled it ‘sexual assault’ because of the kissing,” Ferguson’s mother, Staci Martin, told NBC. “They said a kiss is considered an assault.”
Ferguson has finally been reinstated at school, but how long will it take to make sure this is completely expunged from his record? And more to the point, how did this travesty manage to get this far out of control? I know what you’re thinking. What kind of a person would turn in an autistic guy over a hug and a kiss on the forehead over a case of mistaken identity and have them expelled? She must be really horrible. Nope… not the case at all.
The woman who received Ferguson’s hug, Taylor Bruton, said she thought the punishment was too severe. “I didn’t want him to get in trouble, special needs or not,” said Taylor Bruton. “I didn’t want anyone to get in trouble, not over a hug.”
She said the kiss was nothing more than a “peck” and that she tried to tell school administrators, who saw the hug, that it wasn’t a big deal. “They asked me about the incident,” Bruton told a Texas NBC affiliate. “I explained what happened and I told them, ‘It’s not a big deal. I don’t want anyone to get in trouble and I don’t feel the need to report this.’ And they asked me for a written statement, just in case.”
When she found out that Ferguson had been expelled over the incident, she thought it was “ridiculous.”
The girl had nothing to do with it. She objected to the case being taken up. This was a non-incident that could have taken place anywhere in the country on any given day and resulted in nothing more than a person being surprised (and perhaps startled) for a moment, followed by some embarrassed laughs and everyone going on their way.
We can say with some legitimacy that this is the college’s fault, but only to a certain extent. If they had some convictions regarding common sense and the courage to back them up they wouldn’t find themselves in the middle of this awkward media circus. But given how closely Uncle Sam is monitoring every campus on the nation for the slightest hint of evidence that young men at college are all as evil as Rolling Stone and the feminist movement make them out to be, combined with their reliance on funding from various sources, they are acting with a dangerous overabundance of caution. It doesn’t make it noble or right, but it’s a fiscal reality of running a college, I suppose.
No, in the end, the fault for what happened to Brian Ferguson falls squarely on the armies of activists who continue to perpetuate these stories and the all too willing media which has latched its collective teeth into the latest narrative journalism arc of the season. They have driven the nation’s colleges and universities to this state of affairs, and every frat house that’s shut down and every young man expelled is a victory in the war. If a few (or a lot) of the stories turn out to be fabrications or complete misunderstandings, well… when you’re making an omelet this size, you’ve got to break quite a few eggs.