Student charged with threats against Michigan Tech black students

by Reuters
Saturday, 14 November 2015 00:16 GMT

(Adds student charged and released on bond, comment from school official)

By Ben Klayman

DETROIT, Nov 13 (Reuters) - A male student has been charged with disturbing the peace by making threats through the social media messaging app Yik Yak against black students at Michigan Technological University, officials said on Friday.

The suspect, who has not been identified, was released on bond on Friday. He is scheduled to appear for an arraignment hearing at Houghton County District Court on Monday, university spokeswoman Jennifer Donovan said. Houghton is in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, near Lake Superior.

The school has given the student, who was arrested on Thursday night, an interim suspension and banned him from campus while the incident is investigated.

"I want to reiterate that we take these sorts of threats with the utmost seriousness," said Michigan Tech President Glenn Mroz in a statement.

Michigan Tech is a state university with about 7,000 students. Some 1.1 percent, or 82, are black, Donovan said.

The threat is similar to several made through Yik Yak this week in Missouri. The incidents have raised tensions on U.S. university campuses and led students to protest what they see as school officials' lenient approach to racial abuse.

Online threats also were made on Thursday against Howard University in Washington.

"It's important to remember that we are a community and will not tolerate threats to any member of our family," Mroz said. "It's time we watch out for one another."

He said students were planning a campus dialogue on the evening of Dec. 2 about the threats and other recent events. (Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit; Additional reporting by Madi Alexander in Columbia, Missouri, Megan Cassella in Washington and Colleen Jenkins in Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Editing by Mary Wisniewski, Toni Reinhold)

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