News and Public Media for North Central Florida

Florida college student lied about being suspended 3 years over pro-Palestinian protest arrest

Charly Keanu Pringle, 21, of Jacksonville, Florida, is seen in this image moments before her arrest April 29, 2024, during a pro-Palestinian protest at the University of Florida. Pringle said Tuesday, July 9, 2024, that she had been suspended as a result of her arrest for three years from nearby Santa Fe College, where she said she was a student. Pringle provided emails purportedly from a senior college administrator describing such a suspension. Santa Fe officials said she was never suspended. Pringle separately faces a misdemeanor criminal charge of resisting an officer without violence with a trial scheduled for August. She has pleaded not guilty to the criminal charge. (Screenshot courtesy of Florida Highway Patrol video)

A college student arrested during pro-Palestinian protests at the University of Florida in the spring lied this week about being suspended for three years from nearby Santa Fe College as punishment.

Charly Keanu Pringle, 21, of Jacksonville, Florida, was not suspended from Santa Fe, according to the college’s associate vice president for student conduct, Dan Rodkin, and a college spokeswoman, Lisa Brosky.

Before her hoax was uncovered, Pringle shared with a reporter copies of fraudulent emails and an AI-generated voicemail she said came from Rodkin, a top Santa Fe administrator, to support her claims that she had been suspended. She said her attorney had approved sharing the information about her case.

Pringle hasn’t been enrolled as a Santa Fe student since the spring semester last year, Brosky said. Pringle acknowledged this later in a phone interview Wednesday.

Pringle said her brother Chris sent the emails purporting to describe the three-year suspension, but that appeared to be a lie, too. Christopher “Mikey” Pringle, 36, of Jacksonville died in March – one month before Charly Pringle was arrested on UF’s campus, according to public records and his published obituary.

Pringle’s public defender, Lucia Golleti, who is representing her in court fighting a misdemeanor criminal charge, did not immediately respond to a phone message Wednesday.

Details about Pringle’s purported suspension were included in a news release distributed collectively Tuesday by a group of students arrested April 29 during protests on UF’s campus, and Pringle separately confirmed to a reporter that Santa Fe had suspended her for three years. The other six arrested students attended UF and actually were suspended for terms between three and four years.

Two others arrested at the same protests included a former UF student and a person who had no apparent affiliation with any college or university.

Santa Fe College is about a 15-minute drive from the University of Florida’s sprawling campus in Gainesville.

Pringle provided copies of emails she said came from Santa Fe College administrators informing her that she had been suspended in May for three years for violating the college’s student conduct code. The emails said she had until July 5 to submit an appeal of her punishment to Rodkin and cited his campus email address.

Pringle also provided a recording of a voicemail she said came from Rodkin, after she was arrested, informing her about what she said was her upcoming student conduct hearing.

Pringle also was identified in criminal court records on April 30 as a Santa Fe student.

The emails Pringle provided were fraudulent.

The voicemail was generated by artificial intelligence, misidentified Rodkin’s title and was not Rodkin’s voice.

Rodkin confirmed the voicemail wasn’t from him.

“Oh, that’s bad,” he said. “That’s bad.”

The privacy of college and university disciplinary processes is protected under the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, and only the students involved can lawfully disclose what happened behind closed doors. That complicates learning the outcome of such cases, since higher education administrators are prohibited from describing hearings or evidence or confirming punishments.

It wasn’t clear why Pringle told her co-defendants and a reporter that she had been suspended from a college she had not attended in more than one year.

Pringle’s co-defendants who were also arrested during the protests included the false details about Pringle’s purported three-year suspension in the news release they distributed this week. One of them, Parker Stanley Hovis, 26, of Naples, Florida, said Wednesday he felt betrayed. Hovis was suspended for three years from UF.

“This is as much a shock to me as it is for Santa Fe, if not more so,” Hovis said. “This is someone I trusted, stood shoulder to shoulder with, and thought had my back, as I had theirs. This is not something we have even discussed as a group yet, let alone processed."

Pringle faces a misdemeanor criminal charge of resisting an officer without violence stemming from her arrest on UF’s campus. She also remains banned from university property for three years. She has pleaded not guilty. Her trial was expected next month.

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This story was produced by Fresh Take Florida, a news service of the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. The reporter can be reached at vivienneserret@ufl.edu. You can donate to support our students here.

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Vivienne is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.