UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA LEVIN COLLEGE OF LAW — DEAN ROBERT JERRY — MESSAGE TO ALL STUDENTS
An act of vandalism occurred yesterday morning in one of the law school parking lots. It was accomplished through the engraving of a hateful epithet into the paint of a vehicle.
What happened is a hate crime under both federal and state law. The conduct is disgusting and utterly repugnant. Speaking for everyone in the law school community, we condemn and deplore it.
This is not a question of free speech or the right to express an opinion. This behavior, which is personally threatening and destructive of property, is totally and completely outside the bounds of what is acceptable in a civilized society. It is absolutely unacceptable on a law school or university campus.
If you know anything about this incident or witnessed anything suspicious in one of the parking lots Monday morning, please contact UPD immediately. You can call UPD at 392-1111 or report through the UPD website at www.police.ufl.edu.
On a going forward basis, we need to understand that we are members of a law school community. As such, we have obligations as members not only of a campus community but also as present or future members of the legal profession. We have a special obligation to assist our society in dealing with injustice and unfair treatment of individuals. We have a special obligation to help create an environment that is safe and free from violence, harassment, and discrimination. But that is merely a foundation. We aspire to a community that is inclusive and welcoming to all; this incident is an anathema to the values of tolerance and inclusivity.
I hope the perpetrator of this unlawful and hateful conduct will be identified and dealt with in accordance with the law, but I also hope we will use this occasion to together affirm our fundamental values and responsibilities to eliminate violence, harassment, and discrimination wherever it exists.
Dean Bob Jerry