A pharmacy grad student is suing the University of Tennesse after being expelled for allegedly posting “vulgar” photos.
Twenty-seven-year-old Kimberly Diei is suing the university for violating her freedom of speech and spying on her after they had already expelled her. In September, the college’s Health and Science Center expelled her after students anonymously complained about her photos on Instagram and Twitter after photos showed her wearing low-cut tops, sticking out her tongue, and reportedly writing raunchy rap lyrics inspired by Cardi–B.
The doctoral candidate is now fighting back with the help of her pro-bono lawyer, who, on Wednesday, filed a federal lawsuit, even though the college decided to reverse their decision to avoid court.
The University of Chicago graduate posts under the username kimmykasi and calls her post to her 19,500 Instagram followers and 2,000 Twitter followers “sex-positive,” which is intended to “empower” black women.
Diei told The New York Times that the case made her “sick to my stomach,” but she felt that “for no legitimate pedagogical reason,” the university had violated her First Amendment rights and that she was bringing the case forward to avoid potential students being targeted.
In an interview with legal website Fire.org, she said: “It’s just a matter of time before they come back for another investigation into my expression on social media. UT spied on my social media activity — activity that has no bearing on my success as a pharmacist or my education. I can be a successful and professional pharmacist as well as a strong woman that embraces her sexuality. The two are not mutually exclusive.”
The first time she was reported, Diei was ordered to write a “letter of reflection,” but the second time she received a letter claiming that her “conduct is a serious breach of the norms and expectations of the profession” and that one of her posts identifies her as a student at the college, which she denies.
Referencing the student handbook, the college said that the university staff “may monitor social networking sites on occasion, and egregious unprofessional postings could lead to disciplinary actions.” But it left her to extrapolate what was “egregious,” she said.
According to court documents, the disciplinary panel of the professional behavior committee of the school cited multiple instances found objectionable in Diei’s articles. Including “contributing to a famous trending discussion about the song ‘WAP‘ by Cardi B featuring Megan Thee Stallion by suggesting lyrics for a potential remix.”
“He’s not my pops, but I call him DAD’ because he’s nice in bed” (her wording was different) she says it was “well within the normal bounds of discussion on social media.”
Three weeks later, the pharmacy dean overruled her expulsion after a telephone conversation in which Diei said the dean asked her to try to block her accounts from people associated with the school and to reduce her association with the university, which she said was ‘hard for me to do when I have so many followers.’
She planned her posts for an audience of black women like herself, Diei said and hoped she could become famous enough to make money promoting goods. She said she used the word ‘kasi’ in her nickname, an Igbo word meaning ‘greatest,’ as a tribute to her Nigerian father: ‘I use words and phrases popular among our group.’
In the era of social media, colleges, and schools, Greg H. Greubel, Diei’s pro-bono lawyer, a staff attorney at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, said he is trying to learn how and when to impose rules on the online lives of his students, with students saying that what they do off-campus is not significant.
He added, “It’s so hard to fit old First Amendment principles into the social media era. This is one of those areas of law that needs to evolve.”
Peter Lake, the director of Stetson University College of Law’s Center for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy, said that issues arise from the internet’s blurring of the distinctions between school and home life.
He said: ‘If someone is shouting in a classroom, you have the right to control the time, place, and manner. When they are shouting on Twitter, is it their space or yours?’
Mark Merritt, a former general counsel at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said, “Universities don’t tend to be social media police in the sense that they’re out there actively monitoring social media. But it happens fairly frequently that things are brought to the attention of the administration.”
A father accused of kidnapping his teenage daughter 17 months ago could be holding her captive in Washington, but his technology skills are making it hard for authorities to find him, officials say.
Authorities say John Oliver Westbrook kidnapped his daughter, Daphne Westbrook, 17, in October 2019 from Chattanooga, Tennessee, according to a news release posted on Facebook by the Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office in Tennessee.
Investigators say Westbrook is holding Daphne against her will and they’re struggling to locate them because he is “an IT expert specializing in security, block chain technology and bitcoin.”
Brooke WolfordFri, March 5, 2021, 5:41 AM
“He is communicating in a way that’s almost impossible to trace, which makes it extremely difficult for investigators to generate significant leads in this case,” the release said. “Daphne is increasingly at serious risk of physical and emotional danger.”
Daphne and her dogs, Fern and Strawberry, never returned from a weekend visit with her dad in October 2019. In November 2020, someone spotted Daphne in the Denver area, according to the release.
Investigators recently learned Westbrook was in Santa Fe, New Mexico the first few weeks of 2021 then moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado about three weeks ago, according to a news release from the district attorney, posted by the Auburn Examiner.
Westbrook’s sister lives in Auburn, Washington and is in frequent contact with him, according to the release. Officials say she has not been cooperative with the investigation and she has “repeatedly avoided interview requests [from] the U.S. Marshals Service.”
Authorities believe Westbrook will try to seek shelter with his sister in Auburn, about 15 miles northeast of Tacoma.
“We also believe he may have made attempts to alter his appearance and Daphne’s, including using hair dye and false teeth,” Hamilton’s district attorney said.
Investigators say Westbrook, who’s been indicted on aggravated kidnapping charges, is making money by “contracting with small businesses to do computer security work.”
Today was supposed to be a good day for Cardi B since she announced the release of a new business venture: an original doll modeled after her.
On Friday, the “WAP” rapper went on Instagram to share her news.
“BARDI GANG!! I’m dropping my own doll TODAY!” she wrote alongside a photo of the boxed figurine. “Inspired by me. Created by me. Designed by me. Thank you @officialrealwomenare This means sooo much. Visit the website now to reserve your doll. You only have 72 hours – so go!”
“I’m a girl’s mom and y’all know how crazy I go with my nieces on Christmas and everything, right?” she began. “And I just be like, ‘Wow.’ Now and days, these dolls are not like Barbies. They are way more expensive, they come with way more fashion and they come way more diverse. They come so chic and I constantly gotta spend money on these dolls. My daughter constantly want me to buy these dolls, she actually has a preference,” the mother of one later added.
“Why am I not going to get into the doll business?’ Cause one thing people are never gonna stop having, are daughters.”
According to E! News, everyone didn’t share the same sentiments. Instead of a doll, it appears people want new music from the female rap artist.
Of course, Cardi went on her IG account to respond to the backlash. “I have so much pressure. I’m working on a lot of s–t to please people,” she shared. “I wanna please my fans because y’all been asking for something from me for a very long time that I can’t say, and I’m doing it for ya.”
In response to fans who said things like, “‘You’re dropping a f–king doll, we want an album!’” Cardi asked a legitimate question, “How am I supposed to be rich? How am I supposed to build my net worth?”
The backlash eventually led her to deactivate her Twitter account, a move she’s done in the past when she encountered similar “harassment” by fans who question her life choices.
On Friday, Brooklyn federal prosecutors announced that the man accused of killing Run-DMC’s Jam Master Jay has picked up two new charges.
Karl Jordan Jr., 36, faces one count each of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances and use of firearms in connection with a drug-trafficking crime.
However, the new charges don’t stem from the 2002 execution-styling shooting of the hip-hop legend, whose legal name was Jason Mizell.
Jordan allegedly shot the legend in the head over a drug deal gone bad with his co-defendant Ronald Washington’s help.
According to the feds, Jam Master Jay acquired some cocaine that he was planning on selling with Washington, but he allegedly cut Washington out of the deal at the last minute, which prompted him to turn on his partner to seek revenge.
Jordan and Washington were arrested in August 2020 and held without bail 18 years after the killing. They each face significant prison time if convicted. However, Jordan faces a minimum of five additional years in prison if found guilty.
Former first lady Michelle Obama and Zaya Wade exchanged touching words on Thursday during their …