UNG upholds student’s suspension over restroom photo


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UNG upholds student’s suspension over restroom photo

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Dante Harris outside Military Leadership Center at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega. He was suspended for a photo he took of a military officer in a campus restroom, a punishment that was upheld when he appealed. Harris also was charged with the crime of unlawful surveillance, a felony. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

A University of North Georgia cadet suspended for taking an embarrassing photo of a school official will spend two semesters out of class.

Dante Harris had appealed his suspension and asked to be allowed back into school in the fall, but the school upheld the punishment and informed Harris late last week. He can go back to class next January.

Harris, who is away doing National Guard training, could not be reached.

His mentor from Columbus, Amber Massey, said in an email: “We’ve decided not to appeal to the Georgia Board of Regents and just focus on the criminal nightmare that awaits us.”

Harris faced not only school discipline for snapping a photo of a college military official at a urinal in a campus bathroom, but police also charged him with crimes, including felony unlawful surveillance. If found guilty of that, Harris could face up to six years in prison.

Harris was a bright but homeless teenager in Columbus who played on a high school basketball team with Massey’s son. She became his friend and mentor and helped him get a military scholarship to the University of North Georgia. The suspension will not affect his scholarship, which pays for his tuition, room, food, books and uniforms.

Massey, a woman of deep faith, said, “We don’t know where we will get financial support for him until January but as we know God will provide.”

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