Local News

St. Aug's settles with student barred from graduation

Posted December 30, 2011

— Saint Augustine's College has settled a lawsuit filed by a former student who was barred from participating in last spring's graduation ceremony.

Roman Caple alleged that the school violated his free speech rights by prohibiting him from receiving his diploma with his class because of comments he had posted on the school's Facebook page following an April 16 tornado that damaged campus.

The university reopened three days after the storm amid the hum of chainsaws and the roar of heavy machinery. Caple was among the most vocal of students who balked at the quick turnaround, saying trees, power lines and broken glass still littered the campus, and some dormitories were without power.

Attorney Brandon S. Atwater said Caple was "very pleased" with the confidential settlement.


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  • Not_Time_Yet Jan 2, 2012

    Seems to me the school got slapped for their "bad" behavior. Perhaps next time they will think a little more before implementing some draconian ruling over,... nothing.

  • westernwake1 Dec 30, 2011

    'Attorney Brandon S. Atwater said Caple was "very pleased" with the confidential settlement.'

    When a lawyer makes a statement like this - the assumption is that he got some money. After all, the lawyer needs to be paid and the student was seeking compensation for his relatives who traveled to see the graduation and were denied seeing it. (at least that is my understanding from earlier articles).

    So in summary, I expect some money was paid to avoid going to trial with this suit - where the university would lose big money after this was placed in front of a jury.

  • mfarmer1 Dec 30, 2011


    who said he got money?

    I don't see that in this news report.

  • dsdaughtry Dec 30, 2011

    freedom of speech has been greatly tarnished thanks in part to our own government and universities. hopefully this young man will continue to advocate his future towards first amendment rights.

  • traipsingthru Dec 30, 2011

    this student was wronged from the beginning. I hope that he got lots of cash. Retaliation in business, in universities, is wrong. I hope that someone within the company that I work for is looking at his resume. this company practices a no retaliation policy and it works. we would be proud to have him.

  • Rebelyell55 Dec 30, 2011

    The posting on the school facebook won't the nices thing, while within his "freedom of speech" we all have it, just like anyone commenting on here can "attack" what they don't like (so long as you stay within guildlines) and then the behavior of the school's administrators, which cost the school money they most likely don't have.

  • westernwake1 Dec 30, 2011

    It is absurd that a university would retaliate against a student for publishing legitimate complaints in a public forum. Obviously he had a solid legal case and the university settled to avoid further public embarrassment or the huge payout that a jury trial would provide.

  • EverythingTicksMeOff Dec 30, 2011

    not my real name, he didn't get money for being a loud mouth. He got money because St. Aug's retaliated.

  • wakemom Dec 30, 2011

    Sents the wrong message when bad behavior is rewarded.

    what was the behavior? was it that he spoke out bc he felt school opened up too soon? yeah had to have been the problem. i mean afterall he was just a senior in college about to graduate.

  • cupofcoffee Dec 30, 2011

    Rebelyell, whose behavior?