Houston, Tex. - Texas Southern University officials kicked out three students and had them arrested in retaliation for their public criticism of administrators, a federal jury decided Friday.
The jury of nine women and three men deliberated for 12 hours Thursday and Friday before unanimously accepting all the claims of William G. Hudson, Justin R. Jordan and Oliver J. Brown, who in 2005 sued the TSU regents, then-President Priscilla Slade and other university officials.
The former students were seeking at least $150,000 each and also sued to have their student disciplinary records purged.
Jurors awarded actual damages totaling nearly $200,000 for all three. The jury returns next week to decide on punitive damages, unless the opposing sides settle on that matter.
"At least someone stood up for us, and the jury stood up for us," said Brown.
For more on this story, go to The Houston Chronicle, and The Torch, the official blog of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.