NEWS & ANALYSIS

UMass Amherst Suspends Students for Being Maskless Outdoors, Off-Campus


In what can only be seen as an institutional disregard for science and a remarkable display of intolerance, University of Massachusetts Amherst suspended three freshmen students for not wearing masks outside and off-campus. 

In keeping with traditional authoritarian tactics, the school issued the overly severe punishment of suspension for one semester, a ban from taking remote classes and needing to reapply for the next semester, according to the Epoch Times.

This sort of approach is common when institutions seek to “make examples” of the few or the one for the purpose of frightening others.

What’s more, the three girls weren’t admitted for their final exams, rendering the current semester completely invalid, according to one of their parents. 

“That negates this whole semester $16,000 of money and they have to reapply for next semester. But they missed housing registration,” Scott, a parent, said. 

In a statement, the university said they had warned students of potential consequences if rules were not followed. 

“Students received a number of public health messages this semester that emphasized the importance of following public health protocols and the consequences for not complying, and those messages were also shared on UMass social media channels,” the statement reads. 

One parent blasted the university for violating their own rules with no consequence. 

In April, the school celebrated the men’s ice hockey team for winning the 2021 National Championship. 

“The university hosted a parade/event to celebrate the UMass hockey team’s national championship win, violating every single one of the violations they accuse these girls of,” the parent said. “It also violated a standing executive order by Gov. Charlie Baker that says, ‘no parades, no festivals.'”

In response, the families are putting together a lawsuit against the university, with support from their state senator.

As for UMass, one of the parents, an alum of the school, has a message for prospective students and parents, per WCBV News: “Really rethink sending your students to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, not Lowell, at Amherst, because why not your kid.”

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