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Michigan Tech Reaches Settlement In Yik Yak Case

Michigan Tech says they have reached a settlement with former student Matthew Schultz of Norway, MI, who was expelled by the university in 2015 following a controversial social media post.

In a press release issued by Tech, the university says Schultz has asserted that the post was not intended as a threat of violence and was protected under the First Amendment.

Michigan Tech officials say they understood the post differently and believes their actions in response were justified, according to the information they had at the time.

The statement goes on to say that a non-student, Ryan Grainer—also named in the defendant’s case–was accused of altering the post, worsening the situation.

Grainger is said to have acknowledged altering the post and has also settled with Schultz.

Michigan Tech has agreed to expunge the expulsion from his record though Schultz will not be returning to the university.

Here is the full press release by Michigan Tech:

The parties have settled the legal claim of Matthew Schultz, who was expelled by Michigan Technological University in response to a social media post.

Matthew has asserted that his post was in no way intended as a threat of violence, and was protected speech under the First Amendment. Michigan Tech understood the post differently, and believes its actions in response were justified in light of its knowledge at the time, its interests in keeping its campus safe, and its obligations under federal law.

A non-student’s role, including alteration of Matthew’s original post, worsened the situation. This was Ryan Grainger, also a defendant in this case. Grainger has acknowledged his role in causing a disruption on Michigan Tech’s campus and regrets the harm caused to Matthew’s education and reputation. Matthew’s claim against Grainger has also been settled.

The parties now agree that Matthew did not intend any physical harm.  While Matthew will not be returning to Michigan Tech, the University has agreed to expunge the expulsion and related discipline from his record. The parties agree that Matthew’s dreams of a successful career in mechanical engineering should not be compromised and are encouraged.

The parties would like to thank Judge Gordon Quist and Magistrate Judge Timothy Greeley for their assistance in helping the parties come to this agreement.

Jennifer Donovan, Director of News & Media Relations
University Marketing & Communications
Michigan Technological University

Here are links to previous stories regarding this incident:

Suspect In Racial Threats At Michigan Tech In Custody

Michigan Tech Discusses Racial Threat–Suspect Still Not Arraigned

Was A Post Threatening To Shoot Blacks At Michigan Tech Altered?

Prosecutor's Office Releases Statement Regarding Yik Yak Threat

Charge Dismissed Against Michigan Tech Student For Yik Yak Post

Former Michigan Tech Student Explains Yik Yak Post

Court To Hear Motions In Yik Yak Lawsuit


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