Emails, texts between officials obtained following kneeling cont - CBS46 News


Emails, texts between officials obtained following kneeling controversy at Kennesaw State University

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The group known as the "Kennesaw Five" received even more support on Kennesaw State University's campus as students held a protest, this time wanting to see action from university president Sam Olens. He is at the center of his own controversy after emails and text messages were released that show some powerful figures had influence over his decision making. 

"Take a Knee" was the theme for university students protesting on campus, all of this in support of the cheerleaders who took a knee during the national anthem at a recent game.

CBS46 Investigates has obtained more than 100 pages of emails, texts and other correspondence between Kennesaw State University officials.

The documents detail the confusion and intense effort to contain the fallout since the controversy began. They also highlight two influential people who used their positions to pressure the school to quiet the students.

State Rep. Earl Ehrhart, who is in charge of funding the state's public universities, joined the Cobb County sheriff in pressuring Olens to stop the kneeling, a First Amendment right.

In exchanges reviewed by CBS46 Investigates, the two brag about their influence and the Olens cowering to their demands.

The sheriff wrote in regards to the president that "in recent conversations, Sam assured me this won't happen again."

There is also discussion over accusations by the cheerleaders that they were threatened at their homes by local law enforcement, accusations bolstered by the sheriff's campaign -- now in writing -- to stop their behavior, leading us to ask what business does the local sheriff have in crafting university policy?

The two men have not walked back their actions. The Board of Regents is now investigating how all this was handled.

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