First Amendment

University of Central Florida drops punishment of student who tweeted note from his ex-girlfriend

The University of Central Florida (UCF) has dropped its punishment against a student who “graded” an apology letter from his ex-girlfriend and tweeted it out, according to the student.

Nicholas Lutz tweeted that UCF “revoked” the charges against him as of 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Lutz initially was suspended for two semesters and put on probation after the school found him in violation of its “disruptive” and “harmful behavior” sections of UCF’s code of conduct.

The student’s February 17 tweet featured a “graded” letter from his ex-girlfriend, in which he corrected her formatting, grammar, syntax and spelling errors – ultimately giving her a “D-.”  He said he'd found the letter on his car, Fox 35 reported.

After Lutz was notified of his suspension, his attorney, Jacob Stuart, said using Lutz’s tweet against him was a violation of his First Amendment rights.

“That should really, fundamentally, concern people. Not only those who are students, but people who believe in the idea of freedom of expression,” Stuart told WFTV.

UCF reportedly sent Lutz a letter claiming he may have broken the law by posting the tweet, but Lutz said he never meant to “expose” his ex, who isn’t a student at the school.

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“My main goal was never to expose her,” Lutz said. “It was to show the emphasis on the letter.”

Lutz then received another letter saying he instead violated two sections of UCF’s code of conduct.