Kyle Rittenhouse no longer enrolled at Arizona university, says college amid protests

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Kyle Rittenhouse is currently not a student of the Arizona State University (ASU), the college administration has said amid protests from liberal students’ groups urging the institution to throw him out of online classes.

Mr Rittenhouse, 18, 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.

He said in court that he was enrolled in Arizona State University (ASU) for an online nursing class, and added in various press interviews that he would like to be able to physically attend classes.

However, the university has now confirmed that Mr Rittenhouse isn’t currently enrolled as a student and he had only registered for a non-degree online course that he didn’t complete.

“Our records show that he is not currently enrolled,” ASU spokesperson Jay Thorne said in an email statement to The Arizona Republic.

Mr Thorne added that the current situation was not a result of any action taken by the university against Mr Rittenhouse.

From the time the 18-year-old mentioned the name of the university in his testimony, the institution has been embroiled in controversy with student groups demanding that he be removed from all the classes and a statement from the university against white supremacism.

A rally called by four groups in the university on Wednesday against Mr Rittenhouse also triggered a debate as there is legally no provision to remove a student accused of criminal activity, even if convicted.

But the case of Mr Rittenhouse has been polarising from the beginning, with one section of the society celebrating him as a vigilante and another demanding the harshest punishment.

In 2020, Mr Rittenhouse, who was 17 then, shot three men with a M&P 15 semi-automatic assault rifle, killing two and injuring one person, during a protest over the police shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake.

On 19 November, in a controversial verdict, the jury freed him of all charges.

In interviews following his acquittal, Mr Rittenhouse said he planned to continue studying at ASU and join offline classes.

“Next semester that opens up, I’m going to re-enroll in those classes just so I can finish them up and pursue my career in nursing,” he told NewsNation on 24 November.

“I do intend on going on campus,” he told Fox News on 23 November, adding that he wanted to live a normal life. “I’m hoping I can live a quiet, stress-free life and be free of any intimidation or harassment and just go on with my life as a normal 18-year-old kid attending college,” he said.

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