DeSantis warns of potential expulsion for student protesters in Florida

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is warning college students in his state that they could be expelled if they engage in unsanctioned protests on campuses.

“At places like Columbia and Yale, Hamas protesters rule the roost, and the universities are too weak and scared to do anything — even as these mobs harass Jewish students and faculty,” the governor said in a post on the social platform X. “If you try that at a Florida university, you are going to be expelled.”

Pro-Palestinian activists have set up encampments at numerous universities across the country, including in areas that were not approved by the school.

“When you are chasing Jewish students around, when you’re not letting a Jewish professor enter a building, when you are targeting people like that, that’s not free speech,” DeSantis said. “That’s harassment. That violates appropriate conduct and yet at Columbia, Yale, all these places, those guys, those folks rule the roost.”

“You do that in Florida at our universities, we are showing you the door,” he added.

At the beginning of the Columbia demonstration last week, there was bipartisan condemnation as lawmakers and the White House called the actions at the Manhattan campus antisemitic.

Since then, numerous other schools have had encampments pop up, and hundreds of students have been arrested from coast to coast.

While schools have promised suspension or expulsion for those engaging in these protests, it is not clear how many students have faced specific punishments.

Some students have sought to call the bluffs of their schools’ administrations, not believing they will take such extreme measures.

“We think expulsion is highly unlikely; only students who have been expelled in the movement at Vanderbilt were expelled for touched (‘assaulted’) a police officer. Explusion is highly unlikely; at Princeton it requires committee and we know that at least 2 faculty members who are part of the committtee are in the Faculty for Justice in Palestine,” a document from those planning to protest at Princeton University read.

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