Private college cancels classes because of racist bathroom graffiti
Connecticut College cancelled classes on Monday after school officials were notified of racist graffiti in a bathroom stall.
According to NBC Connecticut, Connecticut College administrators were notified Sunday afternoon of the phrase “no n*****s” sprawled in a student center bathroom. By Sunday evening, school officials said the graffiti had been removed, and the school would remain closed on Monday while an investigation is underway.
"We must take action immediately to expose and eradicate this ignorance and hatred. I have decided to cancel tomorrow’s classes to ensure these events receive the proper attention."
“We must take action immediately to expose and eradicate this ignorance and hatred,” Connecticut College President Katherine Bergeron said in an email to all students Sunday evening. “I have decided to cancel tomorrow’s classes to ensure these events receive the proper attention.”
"As your president, I will not tolerate forms of racist or hateful speech designed to demean, denigrate, or dehumanize," Bergeron said. "Even though speech may be protected does not mean that we have to approve of the odious things that people choose to say with their freedom. I do not approve. It does mean, though, that we can and should use our freedom to speak out against injustice."
On Monday, the entire campus will meet to talk about the campus climate and how to improve the Connecticut College community, according to NBC Connecticut. Multiple staff members will also be on hand to counsel students.
Bergeron said that she will have an open-door policy on Tuesday for any concerned student.
"It has been a difficult time for all of us,” Bergeron said in the email. “There were many powerful things said in last week’s open meetings and in the many emails and conversations since then. Your words have been very much with me for the past three days."
Earlier this month, Connecticut College professor, Andrew Pessin, was on leave for a Facebook post on his personal page in August. In the post, Pessin apparently compared Gazan Palestinians to “a rabid pit bull chained in a cage, regularly making mass efforts to escape.”
Pessin apologized for the post and removed it after a student complained in February. However, he's still on leave and the college is reviewing its social media policies.
“At this point it feels to me not a matter of assuaging wounded feelings, but a matter of deliberately trying to silence and even threaten pretty much the only Jewish professor on campus who openly advocates for Israel,” Pessin told WTNH.
Connecticut College is a private liberal arts school with almost 2,000 students.
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