A decision has been made to not punish the students at the University of North Dakota who recently posted racially charged photos on social media, as the university cited the First Amendment.

Despite the fact that University President Mark Kennedy said he was "appalled" at the students' actions, free speech was taken into consideration as the school decided not to take action against the students. University officials said in a statement that the images did not violate the UND Code of Student Life.

As previously reported, the photos, which were within a two-day span of one another, depicted blatant acts of racism. The first was a Snapchat photo with three white UND females, after they had stolen the phone of an African American student, and locked her out of her dorm room, posting a caption that read, “Locked the black b**** out.” The second photo shows four white females wearing blackface, with a caption reading “Black Lives Matter.” The image was posted on Facebook.

Since the decision to not punish the students has been announced, there have been several students posting their outrage on the university's Facebook page.

Kennedy has since discussed the decision with the university's diversity council, which includes students. They are reviewing the university's diversity practices and curriculum in hopes of remedying the situation.

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