After Backlash, Rittenhouse's Student Status Changes

ASU: Teen 'is not currently enrolled' after previously being signed up for online classes
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2021 7:45 AM CST
Kyle Rittenhouse Is No Longer a College Student at ASU
Kyle Rittenhouse is seen at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Nov. 12, 2021.   (Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool, file)

(Newser) – Before Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted earlier this month on all counts related to his August 2020 shooting of three men in Kenosha, Wis., he told the court that he was a college student at Arizona State University, taking nursing courses. The school confirmed he was enrolled as an online student allowed to take certain classes, though he hadn't gone through ASU's official admissions process and wasn't part of any specific program. Now, after backlash to that revelation, the university says the 18-year-old is no longer a student there at all, reports the Arizona Republic.

"Our records show that he is not currently enrolled," ASU spokesperson Jay Thorne told the paper on Monday, adding that it wasn't the university that spurred the status change. Thorne didn't elaborate on whether Rittenhouse himself withdrew from whatever classes he'd been taking. ASU confirmed the same to the Phoenix New Times, which notes that the semester Rittenhouse was enrolled in would've come to a close this week.

After the not guilty verdict came down, several student groups pushed back on his attendance, asking the university to unenroll him and put out a statement against white supremacy. Before ASU's announcement on Rittenhouse's withdrawal from classes, a rally had been planned on the school's Tempe campus, and a petition with more than 10,000 signatures was circulating calling the verdict in his case "ridiculous" and stating that "ASU should not welcome a murderer onto their campus."

Rittenhouse may have cleared up the mystery himself in an interview he gave last week to Ashleigh Banfield on NewsNation, in which he said he'd taken a "compassionate withdrawal" from two courses earlier in the semester because he'd been "overwhelmed" by his upcoming trial. He told Banfield, however, that he planned to finish those courses next semester and stick with ASU. He also told Tucker Carlson on Fox News last week, "I do intend on going [on] campus." Nursing isn't the only career choice Rittenhouse is mulling: He told Banfield, "I do want to look into law and see if it is right for me. If I decided to [go into that field], it would definitely be criminal defense work." (Read more Kyle Rittenhouse stories.)

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