A Pro-Gun Parkland Shooting Survivor Had His Harvard Admission Revoked Over Racist Remarks
Kyle Kashuv had repeatedly used the n-word in Google Docs in the months before the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, screenshots revealed.
A pro-gun teen who survived the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, said Monday that his Harvard University acceptance had been rescinded after screenshots circulated showing he'd repeatedly used racist slurs.
Kyle Kashuv, 18, apologized in May after screenshots surfaced showing his repeated use of the n-word in a Google Docs document a few months before the deadly shooting at his school.
According to the screenshots, which were obtained by HuffPost, Kashuv typed in the shared document that was being used for a class study guide that he was “really good at typing nigger ok like practice uhhhhhh makes perfect.”
In text messages with a "former friend," Kashuv also reportedly referenced a female classmate by saying "[she] goes for niggerjocks."
Kashuv apologized for the remarks last month, saying in a statement that he's grown "in an incredibly drastic way" since the shooting and he's "embarrassed by the petty, flippant kid represented in those screenshots."
"We were 16-year-olds making idiotic comments, using callous and inflammatory language in an effort to be as extreme and shocking as possible," he said in May. "I'm embarrassed by it, but I want to be clear that the comments I made are not indicative of who I am or who I've become in the years since."
A Harvard spokesperson told BuzzFeed News the university doesn't comment publicly on the admissions status of individual applicants.
Kashuv stepped down from his role with right-wing group Turning Point USA in May, just before the racist screenshots went public, saying he was taking a gap year before college to "push for more school safety legislation." The group, which has been involved in its fair share of racist incidents, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Thanks to his pro-gun stance, Kashuv had previously met President Donald Trump in the Oval Office, appeared on Fox News, and given a speech at a National Rifle Association conference.
Kashuv was widely criticized for the racist remarks that surfaced — even by far-right personality Laura Loomer.
Former classmates of Kashuv, speaking to HuffPost, said the comments revealed in the Google Docs file were standard fare for him.
“Everyone knew him as the vulgar kid that says stuff like that, talked that way out loud,” one unnamed student said. “He would talk that way to a lot of people. I don’t think he was trying to hide it or anything; I don’t think he was scared. I think he fell into that Discord, gamer guy that says those vulgar things.”
“I honestly think, yeah, he’s racist against black people,” another said.
On Monday he announced that his Harvard acceptance had been officially rescinded.
Kashuv said that "former peers & political opponents began contacting Harvard urging them to rescind me" after the screenshots went public, at which point university officials contacted him requesting a written explanation, saying they reserve "the right to withdraw an offer of admission."
He responded with an apology and also contacted the school's Office of Diversity Education and Support "to seek guidance on how to right this wrong and work with them once I was on campus."
Harvard decided to rescind his acceptance, and declined Kashuv's request to meet in person to discuss.
"Harvard deciding that someone can’t grow, especially after a life-altering event like the shooting, is deeply concerning," Kashuv tweeted. "If any institution should understand growth, it’s Harvard, which is looked to as the pinnacle of higher education despite its checkered past.
"Throughout its history, Harvard’s faculty has included slave owners, segregationists, bigots and antisemites," he continued. "If Harvard is suggesting that growth isn't possible and that our past defines our future, then Harvard is an inherently racist institution. But I don't believe that."
Kashuv said he does not know what he will do now that he won't be attending Harvard, adding that he "had given up huge scholarships" to go there. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment.