An ongoing battle between the University of Illinois and an outspoken Trump-supporting student has reached new heights today.
“He’s lucky I didn’t flatten his ass out on the ground for talking about my children,” said U of I professor and Ph.D candidate Tariq Khan at a panel for leftist activist professors.
Khan was referring to conservative student Joel Valdez.
Valdez, a rising sophomore, has been embattled with the university for nearly his entire time there. In November, he was assaulted and his phone was destroyed by Khan when he and some conservative friends counter-protested an on-campus Antifa rally led by Khan.
Valdez, who did not know Khan at the time, questioned how Khan had time to protest, asking if he “had anything better to do,” and if he “had kids.” Khan took the question as a threat. The assault was captured on video:
The university, though, sided with Khan. Valdez and his two co-defendants were issued no-contact orders by the administration, meaning that they had to avoid Khan or be disciplined.
In response, Valdez and two other students filed suit against the university.
“A few days ago, the university rejected a generous settlement offer by us and we will be proceeding to federal court,” Joel Valdez told Big League Politics. “The university is buying as much time as they can to prevent acknowledging that they violated our constitutional rights.”
According to Valdez’s attorneys, Khan began taking advantage of the no-contact orders, targeting the students for “violating the orders whenever [Khan] or his wife was in the same place with one of [the students] on campus.” This, Valdez’s lawyers say, amounts to depriving Valdez of “journalistic and expressive liberties without notice or an opportunity to be heard.”
Meanwhile Khan, who has now assaulted, destroyed the property of, and threatened Valdez is registered to teach a class at U of I in the fall semester. He will be teaching Global Capitalism in History.
“[The university has] enabled his unhinged behavior when they disciplined us instead of him,” said Valdez. “No parent would feel comfortable with their children in the same room with Tariq Khan, a man that attacks freshman students.”
Big League Politics reached out to the university for comment.
“This isn’t an official university statement, but I think the university would say that free speech stands,” said a public affairs employee at the university without a hint of irony.
The employee passed along BLP’s contact information for an official spokesperson to reach out, but nobody from the university reached out in time for publication.
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