SAN JOSE — San Jose State has expelled three of the students charged with the racially-tinged bullying of a freshman and extended one other student’s suspension, requiring him to go to counseling and to remain on probation for the rest of his college career if he returns to school.
All four had been suspended pending final disciplinary action for allegedly subjecting then-17-year-old Donald Williams Jr. to repeated abuse, including wrestling him to the ground and fastening a bike lock around his neck, calling him racially derogatory names, locking him in his room and displaying a Confederate flag.
The university’s move comes after news surfaced in November that the freshman reported being tormented relentlessly for weeks. The revelation sparked community outrage, an internal investigation, an apology from the college president, criminal charges and the creation of a task force. All four suspects have pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor battery and hate crime charges.
African-American leaders were pleased to learn Friday that the university had taken stern disciplinary action. The expelled students are banned for life from enrolling in any California State University college, according to university documents and sources familiar with the investigation.
“It’s a no-brainer,” said LaDoris Cordell, a retired judge and city police watchdog who chaired the task force. “They have no business being enrolled at SJSU.”