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I'm just asking

School closings sadden alumni

Jayne Matthews Hopson | 5/2/2013, 5:12 p.m.

Moving on, I’m just asking… am I the only one disturbed by the fact that one of the alleged Boston Marathon bombers had failed seven college courses without getting kicked out of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth?

In my years as an educational advocate for poor and African American students, I have seen several young people who struggled academically be dismissed from a white college after failing two or three classes. To me this is an unbelievable footnote to the bombing that killed three bystanders and seriously injured over a 250 people. Nevertheless it’s true!

The New York Times obtained a copy of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s college transcript. The 19-year-old University of Massachusetts (UMASS) student had seven Fs over three semesters, a D and a D-plus in two other courses. Ironically, one of his failing grades was in “Introduction to American Politics.

According to the school’s website the average GPA of accepted students is 3.25. Yet, he was a white, foreign-born student with grades that put him well below the college’s academic standards.

A former classmate reports that Tsarnaev said he wasn’t doing as well as he expected because going from high school to college is “totally different.”

Reports indicate he was in this country on a student visa, which would have been revoked if the school had kicked him out of college for academic failure. This is of course pure speculation, but perhaps the Boston Marathon tragedy could have been avoided with more diligent and fair academic oversight by UMASS.

Jayne Matthews Hopson, an education writer and mother of three school-aged children believes that “Education matters, because only the educated are free.”