University of Florida declares itself 'not a daycare' while announcing arrests of protesters

The school administration has promised consequences for non-compliance, citing Gov. DeSantis' stance on terrorism.

University of Florida declares itself 'not a daycare' while announcing arrests of protesters
WUFT News
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The University of Florida issued a strongly worded statement this week, announcing that it had made multiple arrests of militant leftists who failed to comply with the university's policies during anti-Israel protests. The school had previously released a memo to students outlining unacceptable conduct and the consequences protesters would face for violating school policy.

In the statement, the university emphasized, "This is not complicated: The University of Florida is not a daycare, and we do not treat protesters like children — they knew the rules, they broke the rules, and they'll face the consequences."

According to local media reports, nine individuals were arrested on campus by the university's police department (UPD) and the Florida Highway Patrol. The university's statement noted that protesters, many of whom were "outside agitators," had been patiently informed of their right to free speech and assembly, but were also warned that prohibited activities would result in a trespassing order from UPD and an interim suspension from the university.

The arrests come in the wake of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' firm stance on behavior that will not be tolerated on state school campuses following the October 7 terrorist attack. Just weeks after the attack, DeSantis ordered a crackdown on collegiate student groups that showed support for Hamas' Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, the Daily Wire reported.

Ray Rodrigues, chancellor of the State University System of Florida, sent notices to the University of Florida and the University of South Florida, directing them to deactivate their chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) for allegedly violating Florida laws related to terrorism. Rodrigues cited the "toolkit" released by National Students for Justice in Palestine, which referred to Operation Al-Aqsa Flood as "the resistance" and stated that "Palestinian students in exile are PART of this movement, not in solidarity with this movement."

Under Florida law, knowingly providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization is a felony. The letter from Rodrigues concluded by stating that Florida will continue to monitor events on college campuses and use all available tools to "crack down on campus demonstrations that delve beyond protected First Amendment speech into harmful support for terrorist groups."

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