Tulsa college student suspended for possible involvement in racist, violent messages

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TULSA, Okla. – A Tulsa college student has been suspended for possible involvement with the group that sent racist and violent messages to black students at the University of Pennsylvania.

Last week, black freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania found “violent, racist and thoroughly disgusting” messages on their phones after they were added to a racist GroupMe account.

According to The Daily Pennsylvanian, the messages included racial slurs and images of lynchings.

“This is absolutely vile material and completely offensive to everyone on our campus. We are both angry and saddened that it was directed to our students or to anyone. The people responsible for this are reprehensible,” university officials said. “We have increased campus safety and are reaching out to support the affected students in every way we can, and want them to know that the entire Penn community stands with them.”

Investigators determined the account on the group messaging service was based in Oklahoma.

Officials say three individuals who are linked to the offensive group live in Oklahoma.

One of those individuals was identified as an OU student.

On Tuesday, President Boren announced the OU student involved in the racist and violent messages at the University of Pennsylvania is no longer enrolled at the university.

“As our university has clearly demonstrated in the past, we have zero tolerance at this university for those who would engage in racism. We will maintain at our university a strong sense of community which values and respects every single student,” Boren said in a statement.

The identity of the student has not been released.

Later Tuesday, Tulsa Community College announced one of their students has been placed on interim academic suspension for their possible involvement with the racist messages, the Tulsa World reports.

TCC President Leigh Goodson said the college will continue to investigate the matter and determine its next steps.

You can read TCC’s full statement below:

“Today, Tulsa Community College put on interim academic suspension a TCC student who has been identified with a social media group that posted racist messages identified by federal authorities to be potential criminal activity. This action falls under TCC’s Student Code of Conduct Policy which prohibits behavior that threatens the mental health or safety of students or could be perceived as threatening or bullying. The interim suspension allows TCC to investigate the matter, decide on our next actions, and protect our learning environment for students and our employees. 

This disturbing behavior gives me the opportunity to make our mission clear – TCC is dedicated to learning, the free exchange of ideas, and the safety and respect of all of our students and employees. The intimidation of any individual or group is a deterrent to the free and open exchange of ideas. As an open door institution with more than 27,000 students, we understand that every individual who comes through our doors has a belief system and a history different from every other. This diversity is what makes higher education a rich and meaningful experience. As President, I am deeply disappointed this behavior occurred and I have taken this action to reflect our values and our commitment to students.”

 

 

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