Posted on September 10, 2020

ACLU Staffer Fumes at University for Accepting Nick Sandmann

Nick Givas, Fox News, September 9, 2020

An American Civil Liberties Union official in Kentucky chastised Transylvania University over the weekend for accepting Nicholas Sandmann as a student, calling the move a “stain” on the institution.


“Does anyone else think it’s a bit of a stain on Transylvania University for accepting Nick Sandman [sic]? I’m sure it’s a “both sides” defense, but it’s pretty counter to their mission and another instance of there not actually being equal sides to an issue,” ACLU’s Samuel Crankshaw said in a Facebook post, according to The National Review.

The comment was temporarily taken down for an additional note to be added but was eventually restored and came back online. Crankshaw later reached out to Fox News and provided this brief statement:

“The views I expressed on my Facebook page are my personal views that I shared on my personal time,” he said in an email. “I have a First Amendment right to express them just as Nick Sandmann has a First Amendment right to express his. My views do not necessarily reflect the views of my current or past employers. I will continue to express my views on my personal time.”

Amber Duke, Deputy Director for the ACLU of Kentucky, also reached out to Fox News following the story’s publication and provided a statement supportive of Crankshaw, but said his views do not necessarily represent that of the organization.


An assistant professor and diversity scholar at Transylvania Unversity, Avery Tompkins, shared a comment on the post before it was taken down, calling Sandmann’s “public behavior and rhetoric atrocious and uninformed,” adding that the young student must accept his class as gospel, The National Review reported.

“We can’t not admit academically qualified students due to their political and personal views,” he said. “If he ends up in my Intro class, fine. He might learn something that is actually based on research and evidence.”


Tompkins later issued an apology saying, “I want to apologize for my mistake in singling out a student and any misunderstandings that arose from that.”


The university said in a statement to National Review on Tuesday that it would be reviewing the situation and that “Transylvania, like nearly every campus, is composed of those holding the full range of viewpoints.”