Michigan Tech student to appear in court for threats against black students

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 16, 2015 9:48 AM

DETROIT (Reuters) - A male student was scheduled to appear in court on Monday to face a charge of disturbing the peace by making threats through social media against black students at Michigan Technological University.

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

On Sunday, about 200 students, faculty, staff and community residents marched through campus and downtown to the Houghton County Courthouse, the spokeswoman said. They observed a moment of silence and protested the charge against the suspect as being too light.

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. The nature of the alleged threat was not disclosed.

Michigan Tech is a state university with about 7,000 students, 82 of whom are black.

The threat is similar to several made through the Yik Yak social media messaging app, which allows users to post anonymously, last 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.

Protests at the University of Missouri this month led to the resignations of the school's president and chancellor for their handling of race issues. Two men were arrested in Missouri for threatening violence against black students.

(Reporting by Ben Klayman; Editing by Bill Trott)