Judge lets U.Va. med student’s free-speech lawsuit move ahead

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — A federal judge is letting a University of Virginia medical student move ahead with his free-speech lawsuit against school officials who suspended him after he asked pointed questions at a panel about microaggressions.

School officials had asked the judge to dismiss the lawsuit brought by student Kieran Bhattacharya. They said the questions he asked during a 2018 faculty-led panel were offensive and unworthy of free-speech protections.

But a judge sided with Bhattacharya, ruling that the questions the student asked during the panel were pointed but academic in nature.

A faculty member issued a “professionalism concern card” against Bhattacharya after his questioning. The citation led to a requirement that Bhattacharya be evaluated by a counselor and eventually a suspension.

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