This is an update to a story we’ve been following. Thankfully, it’s a happy ending.

The FIRE blog reports.

University of Houston Student Government Rescinds Suspension of VP for Facebook Post

Last week on The Torch, FIRE’s Will Creeley explored the legal and practical issues surrounding a decision by the University of Houston Student Government Association (SGA) to suspend its vice president, Rohini Sethi, in response to her Facebook post: “Forget #BlackLivesMatter; more like #AllLivesMatter.” On August 5, the SGA announced on Facebook that Sethi’s suspension has been lifted and the SGA’s judicial branch would review whether the bill that authorized the suspension violated the SGA’s bylaws.

As Will deftly explained, Sethi’s post is unquestionably protected by the First Amendment. But this isn’t the typical FIRE case of a university punishing a student for her speech or a student government unlawfully withholding student fees from a recognized student group. In fact, the University explicitly stated that it would “stand firm in support of free speech and does not discipline students for exercising their Constitutional rights.”

Instead, the SGA’s sanctioning of Sethi for her speech is problematic because it is inconsistent with SGA’s own rule that it “shall take no action abridging the rights, immunities and privileges granted to students under the Constitution of the United States of America.”

“Perhaps just as lamentably,” Will wrote last week, “the SGA has chosen to privilege punishment over dialogue, teaching fellow students that the answer to speech with which one disagrees is top-down punishment, not grassroots persuasion, conversation, and, ultimately, education.”