A coalition of liberal student groups at Arizona State University are calling on the school to kick Kyle Rittenhouse out of the university’s online classes.
Mr Rittenhouse was acquitted of homicide charges earlier this month, after being charged with killing two men and injuring a third with a semi-automatic rifle during 2020 racial justice protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The groups opposing his enrollment, including Students for Socialism ASU, Students for Justice in Palestine, Multicultural Solidarity Coalition, and Mecha de ASU, criticsed the university for allowing a “mass shooter” to take online courses.
“Our campus is already unsafe as is and we would like to abate this danger as much as possible,” a spokesperson for Students for Socialism ASU told Fox News in a statement. “The goal of these demands is to let the ASU administration know that we do not feel safe knowing that a mass shooter, who has expressed violent intentions about ‘protecting property’ over people, is so carelessly allowed to be admitted to the school at all.”
The groups plan to hold what they are calling a “killer off our campus” rally on Wednesday.
The Independent has reached out to Kyle Rittenhouse for comment.
During his homicide trial, Mr Rittenhouse described himself as "a college student studying nursing at Arizona State University”.
An investigation from 12News concluded that Mr Rittenhouse, who dropped out of high school, was taking online classes in a non-degree track from ASU.
The university appeared to distance itself from Mr Rittenhouse on Monday.
“Kyle Rittenhouse has not gone through the ASU admissions process. He is not currently enrolled in any classes at ASU,” it said in a statement to The Guardian.
It’s not the first time Mr Rittenhouse has generated controversy at ASU. A student group called College Republicans United received backlash when it sought to raise funds for Mr Rittenhouse’s legal defence, writing online that the then-17-year-old "does not deserve to have his entire life destroyed because of the actions of violent anarchists during a lawless riot”.
Since being acquitted, the 18-year-old has been celebrated as a hero in right-wing circles, offering Fox News’s Tucker Carlson a lengthy interview shortly after the verdict and visiting former president Donald Trump, who praised Mr Rittenhouse as a “really nice young man”.
I interviewed the alleged shooter before the violence started.
Full video coming soon: pic.twitter.com/G3dVOJozN7
— Richie🎥McG🍿 (@RichieMcGinniss) August 26, 2020
During the trial and the racial injustice protests where the shootings themselves happened, Mr Rittenhouse said his presence there was in part to be a protest medic. Though he brought a medical kit, Mr Rittenhouse did not have medical training, and was captured on video talking about shooting shoplifters with his “f*****g AR” rifle just days before actually shooting Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber, and Gaige Grosskreutz.
The Illinois teenager reportedly idolised guns and law enforcement, frequently posting about Blue Lives Matter and weapons on his social media pages. He previously attempted to join the US Marines, before being disqualified from serving for undisclosed reasons.