Monday, March 25, 2013

Anonymous posters target HIV status of student candidate, with stolen medical data printed on back

The Dallas Voice reports a nasty, anonymous flyer targeting the HIV status of Student Body President Kristopher Sharp candidate at University of Houston-Downtown has been posted around that campus.
     On the back of the flier is a copy of a medical document from one of Sharp’s recent doctor appointments that contains his home address, phone number and HIV status...
     This isn’t the first time Sharp has faced adversity on the campus. A few years ago his political science class was discussing same-sex marriage and someone called him a faggot. His professor didn’t address it, so he spoke to Tommy Thomason, dean of students, but nothing was done, he said.
     He also spoke to Thomason about the flier incident, but was told the university likely wouldn’t find who was responsible and the flier couldn’t be considered hate speech since AIDS and homosexual are “proper words.”
     Commentors to the Dallas Voice weren't amused by Thomason's inaction:
     D. Williams: Dean Thomason needs to understand that revealing the result of an HIV test without the consent of the tested person is a class A misdemeanor in Texas, regardless of how that result was obtained. That's the same class of offense as assault with bodily harm. I wonder if Dean Thomason would be nearly as blase about assault on the UHD campus.
     S. Hrenchir: In response to the dean, "faggot" is a "proper word" too, as it appears in dictionaries. He needs a lesson on hate speech. It isn't about which words are used, it's about what those words are saying. I absolutely see that flier as being hate speech, whether the words used are "politically acceptable" (politically correct be damned) or not.

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