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Parkland shooting survivor says Harvard rescinded his admission after racist remarks surfaced

Harvard University campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Michael Fein | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Kyle Kashuv, a recent graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., says that Harvard has withdrawn his acceptance after racist comments he says he made as a 16-year-old student surfaced online in May.

Kashuv, 18, took to Twitter on Monday morning with a thread recounting his communication with the Ivy League school. He shared a letter from the university requesting a written explanation from Kashuv after his offensive remarks became public and said he responded with "full explanation, apology, and requested documents."

He also shared a letter from the university revoking his admission. Dated June 3rd, it notes that "the Committee takes seriously the qualities of maturity and moral character."

According to HuffPost, Kashuv's offensive remarks, which included the repeated use of a racial slur, were originally circulated in a shared Google document as part of a class study guide. After screenshots of the doc including the remarks became public, Kashuv apologized on Twitter for his "callous and inflammatory language," saying, "we were 16-year-olds making idiotic comments."

Kashuv became widely known in the wake of the February 2018 Parkland shooting for his pro-gun stance – a counterweight to March For Our Lives activists. He is the former high school outreach director for the conservative non-profit organization Turning Point USA, and has met with President Trump at the White House, appeared on Fox News and spoken at conservative conferences.

A Harvard spokesperson tells CNBC Make It the school does not "comment publicly on the admissions status of individual applicants." Harvard accepted 5.3% of applicants to its incoming undergraduate class, the lowest acceptance rate of any Ivy League school this year.

In his tweet thread on Monday, Kashuv said that he "had given up huge scholarships in order to go to Harvard" and that as the deadline for other college offers has passed, he's "exploring all options at the moment." CNBC Make It reached out to Kashuv but did not receive a response.

This is not the first time Harvard rescinded an admission offer after discovering bad behavior of its already accepted applicants online. The New York Times reports that in 2017, Harvard withdrew offers for at least 10 students who shared anti-Semitic and sexist messages in a private Facebook group.

Anna Ivey, the founder of Ivey Consulting, an admissions-counseling company, and former college admissions dean at the University of Chicago Law School, tells The Atlantic that college admittance offers are conditional — it isn't too late to withdraw decisions once learning of new revelations about incoming students.

"Everything a kid does starting in 9th grade matters for admissions purposes," Ivey said. "That's sometimes a tough thing to hear, especially if it happened earlier in one's high school years. But that's the reality for applicants."

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Harvard University campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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