White Student Sues Howard University For $2 Million Over Racial Discrimination Claims

White Student Sues Howard University For $2 Million Over Racial Discrimination Claims


A former White student from Howard University’s law school is suing the institution for $2 Million over racial discrimination and creating a ‘hostile education environment.’

Michael Newman, the plaintiff, attended the School of Law starting in the fall semester of 2020 and remained there for two years until he was expelled in September 2022. Newman’s lawsuit alleges he suffered ‘pain, suffering, emotional anguish and damage to his reputation,’ as a result of racial discrimination by school administrators and other students.

Frank Tramble, vice president, and chief communications officer for Howard University, said the university

“is prepared to vigorously defend itself in this lawsuit as the claims provide a one-sided and self-serving narrative of the events leading to the end of the student’s enrollment at the university.”

The lawsuit claims Newman suffered “depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts” as a result of “public ostracism, vilification and humiliation.”

According to the suit, Global Head of Diversity Recruiting Reggie McGahee allegedly told Newman that he had become the most hated student McGahee had seen during his tenure at the university. When Newman raised concerns about his treatment to school administrators, the school’s dean allegedly denied that Caucasian students at Howard Law, and Newman in particular, faced racial discrimination to any degree.

The trouble for Newman allegedly began when the university shifted to remote learning at the start of the pandemic.

After a symposium featuring an African-American speaker in the run-up to the 2020 election, Newman said he posted on a professor’s forum page asking if further dialogue could be had on

“whether: (1) Black voters didn’t question turning to government for solutions, and (2) reliably voting for the same party every election disincentivized both parties from responding to the needs of the black communities.”

Newman received negative responses from several students and was removed from one of his group chats for the class.

Newman also described feeling “utterly disenfranchised” at the school and compared himself to a Black student at a primarily white university. Once again, students allegedly responded negatively, with some calling his comment “offensive.”

According to the lawsuit, Newman repeatedly apologized for offending anyone, stressing he was seeking to

“learn, not just law, but to learn the thoughts and experiences of people of color.”

Following discussions regarding Newman’s alleged racial insensitivity, students found out about a tweet from his Twitter account which included a picture of a slave baring his badly scarred back with the caption:

”But we don’t know what he did before the picture was taken.”

Newman claimed the tweet was mocking people who,

“attempt to explain away videos of police brutality by claiming the victim must have committed wrongdoing before the video started.” 

Newman allegedly continued to face overt hostility, with many students starting to refer to him as ‘mayo king’ (seemingly referencing his race) and ‘white panther.’

However, students reportedly claimed that Newman’s ‘controversies’ had caused them ‘severe stress’ and ‘distracted them from their studies.’

According to the lawsuit, Newman then tried to rectify the situation by sending out a four-part letter to explain his views, but his effort was labeled a ‘manifesto,’ with one student accusing him of ‘manipulating [classmates’] emotions … as a social experiment.’ Allegedly, Newman’s letter resulted in his removal from a second class-wide group chat.

Allegedly, School of Law Dean Danielle Holley later secretly recorded a Zoom meeting she set up with Newman and McGahee, during which she suggested Newman transfer to another school, accusing him of racially harassing classmates.

During a digital town hall attended by 300 participants to discuss controversies surrounding Newman, Holley allegedly described Newman’s four-part letter as ‘disturbing in every sense of the word.’ She allegedly blocked him from using several functions to try and speak up in his defense, even disabling the chat function and turning off his camera.

Dean Holley and Newman ultimately filed simultaneous complaints, with Holley accusing Newman of

“continual harassment of member [sic] of the Howard Law community, and disturbance of the learning environment at the School of Law.”

At the same time, Newman claimed Dean Holley had perpetuated

“threats,” “discrimination” and a “hostile academic environment.”

In a panel reviewing Dean Holley’s complaint, the school determined that Newman was “responsible” and ruled that he should be expelled.

Now, Newman’s lawyers will try to prove the school broke its contract with him, a student who attended on a scholarship, after a series of incidents led to multiple review panels and hearings that ultimately resulted in Newman being expelled.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!

[Source: 1, 2 ]

Authored by: Monique Nicole