The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

This student’s sexist Yik Yak comment about #blackwomenmatter got him suspended

Placeholder while article actions load

When Thaddeus Pryor saw a Yik Yak message that said “#blackwomenmatter,” he responded: “They matter, they’re just not hot,” according to the Colorado Springs Gazette.

The Colorado College student later deleted the post from the anonymous messaging app, he told the College Fix.

“I was ashamed, because some people were clearly upset,” Pryor told the website. “So I deleted it.”

But after posting his Yik Yak response, Pryor was suspended by Colorado College. He can’t go back to the school’s campus in Colorado Springs until mid-May — after the academic year ends, according to the Gazette.

“It could be considered as mean,” Pryor told the newspaper. “But I did not mean it as hateful or violent or anything of that sort.”

[Millions of teens are using a new app to post anonymous thoughts, and most parents have no idea]

Pryor was initially suspended for two years, but his punishment was later reduced, the Gazette reported. In a Dec. 3 letter to Pryor that was re-posted on the College Fix, Colorado College Dean of Students Mike Edmonds wrote: “I believe this will provide you with the opportunity you asked for: to apologize, learn and mitigate the damages caused by your actions.”

It continued: “In your own words, you accepted responsibility for the comment, which you deemed hurtful and distasteful, and stated you deserve to be held accountable for your actions.”

The letter was reportedly written in response to Pryor’s appeal of his suspension. No new hearing on the matter was held, according to the Gazette.

[What is Yik Yak, the app that fielded racist threats at University of Missouri?]

The Gazette reported that school officials “have not spoken about the incident, or in regard to another student being expelled for a post he made on Yik Yak referencing the television show ‘South Park.’ In recent months, the school has had problems with racial slurs being made allegedly by students on social media.”

In an email to The Washington Post, a Colorado College spokesperson said federal privacy laws prohibited discussing student disciplinary actions.

Colorado College isn’t the only school to experience issues with Yik Yak posts. After protests at the University of Missouri’s flagship campus in Columbia, a student at another college was arrested for allegedly making threats on the app.

After that incident, Brooks Buffington, the co-founder and chief operating officer of Yik Yak, wrote that “this sort of misbehavior is NOT what Yik Yak is to be used for. Period.”

“It’s our hope that the range of discussion on MU’s campus can help to bring about positive resolution and a better understanding within the community,” Buffington wrote. “But there’s a point where discussion can go too far – and the threats that were posted on Yik Yak last night were both upsetting and completely unacceptable.”

Read More:
Yik Yak might not encourage racism and threats. But it certainly enables them.

After racist comments online, American University criticizes popular social media site Yik Yak

Federal investigation into the way a university handled social-media threats