- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 11, 2017

A racist note that sparked student protests and canceled classes last month at St. Olaf College in southern Minnesota has turned out to be a hoax.

St. Olaf President David R. Anderson sent a letter to students Wednesday saying the note was “fabricated” and that a student admitted to writing it as an apparent “strategy to draw attention to concerns about the campus climate,” the Star Tribune reported.

“This was not a genuine threat,” Mr. Anderson wrote. “We’re confident that there is no ongoing threat from this incident to individuals or the community as a whole.”

St. Olaf student Samantha Wells, who is black, had posted pictures on social media of the note she said she found on her windshield April 29. Her post sparked campus protests and classes were canceled for two days while officials investigated the incident, the Star Tribune reported.

Mr. Anderson said he could not reveal the the identity of the student who fabricated the note due to federal privacy laws. He also declined to disclose whether the school would be taking action against the student.

Responding to Mr. Anderson’s announcement on social media, Ms. Wells wrote, “So, it looks like something made its way back to me in the investigation,” the Star Tribune reported.

“I will be saying it was a hoax. I don’t care. There is nothing more that I can do,” she added.

Ms. Wells later told The College Fix that the since-deleted post was not an admission of guilt.

“It was a reaction to something said this morning and my wanting for all of this to end,” she said Wednesday. “I did not have to admit anything because there is nothing to admit.”

Northfield Police Chief Monte Nelson told the paper that he was not aware of any law that would enable him to charge someone for creating the hoax.

He said police are also investigating a separate alleged racial incident on campus, but he declined to give details.



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