Russian student almost expelled because of his pink phone case

A student in the Russian city Yekaterinburg received several prints containing screenshots from his university, which showed he was a member of pro-LGBT Facebook groups. This, in combination with his pink phone case, prompted the university to threaten the student with expulsion for being gay. “The fact that I have a girlfriend didn’t prove anything”, the student told Russian media.
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According to The Moskow Times, the Ural State University for Economy based their decision on the law that forbids ‘gay propaganda’. This law has already been used to ban multiple Pride events. “We’re a state university”, told the school’s vice president for disciplinary work, Roman Krasnov, “so we look at our students’ moral character.” He admits that the university also checks their students’ social media, in order to keep an eye on this ‘moral character’. “Why shouldn't we be looking at what our students do outside class time?”, he asks.

According to the student in question, his social media activity and the pink colour of his phone case were perceived as reasonable cause for expulsion by the university. Also, his relationship with a girl did not suffice as evidence for his sexual orientation for the educational institution.

However, Krasnov later told Russian state media that he never had the intention to expel the boy. Yet, the university’s press office said students asked the school to check the boy’s Facebook page. The press office emphasised:  “He did have a link to the LGBT community on his personal page, which counts as public propaganda.”


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