Report: Oberlin Hate Crimes Were Hoaxes
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- Hate crime hoaxes present burdens, lessons for college campuses
- Hoax at Trinity International
- Student video raises questions about college marketing strategies
- Students question whether canceling classes helps address social justice issues
The monthlong string of hate crimes that prompted a federal investigation and culminated in Oberlin College canceling classes for a day in the spring was a hoax orchestrated by two students who have since been removed from campus, The Daily Caller reported Thursday. After police suggested in March that a person spotted in Ku Klux Klan-like robes around the campus Afrikan Heritage Center may have just been someone wrapped in a blanket, some speculated (noting high-profile cases elsewhere) that the sighting, as well as incidents of racist and anti-Semitic notes, posters, harassing emails and graffiti, were hoaxes. After he was caught, police records show, one of the students told campus cops, “I’m doing it as a joke to see the college overreact to it as they have with the other racial postings that have been posted on campus.” The students took responsibility for some but not all of the incidents.
In response to an Inside Higher Ed query, Oberlin spokesman Scott Wargo confirmed that two students "who may [have been] responsible" were identified and "removed from campus" back in March. "While we take issue with the characterizations reflected in the Daily Caller article, we are constrained from commenting further by federal law and the need to preserve the integrity of our ongoing internal judicial processes," Wargo said.