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Community College Reinstates Student Suspended over Facebook Comments

A North Carolina community college that banned a student from campus last week over comments he posted on the school's Facebook page, has reversed its ruling and dropped their complaint against the student.

Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) student Marc Bechtol was suspended for two semesters and banned from campus after using Facebook to complain that about the school's aggressive marketing tactics of a debit card company. The 37-year-old marketing student claimed the school shared his personal information with banking partner HigherOne, without his permission. After receiving a CVCC branded debit card in the mail and then an invitation for an Orchard Bank credit card in his e-mail, Bechtol took to Facebook to air his complaint:

"Anyone else's inbox full of spam today? I wonder if they'd like it if we registered them with every porn site known to man. Anyone know of any good viruses we could send them?"

Bechtol posted another comment, almost immediately, admitting that he may have overreacted in his initial response. The school wasn't mollified. A week later, the disgruntled student was removed class and asked to leave campus.

Bechtol reached out to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for assistance in appealing the decision. Friday, during a disciplinary meeting, CVCC dropped the charges and he was reinstated. As a condition of his reinstatement, Bechtol must let the school know when he's using CVCC computers.

About the Author

Kanoe Namahoe is online editor for 1105 Media's Education Group. She can be reached at knamahoe@1105media.com.

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