November 13, 2015 / 2:26 PM / 4 years ago

Student jailed in threats against Michigan Tech black students

DETROIT (Reuters) - A male student was arrested for making threats through 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 scheduled to appear at the Houghton County District Court on Friday, university spokeswoman Jennifer Donovan said. Houghton is in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, near Lake Superior.

The school at this point has not taken action against the student, Donovan said. A woman answering the phone at the Houghton County Prosecuting Attorney’s office said the man is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday.

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, where marches and walkouts have played out as students protest what they see as school officials’ lenient approach to racial abuse.

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

The Michigan Tech student is accused of making anonymous threats on Yik Yak, the university said in a statement. After the comments were discovered around midday on Thursday, the school increased its police presence as a precaution.

The man was arrested late Thursday night and was being held at the Houghton County Jail, Donovan said.

“It’s important to remember that we are a community and will not tolerate threats to any member of our family,” Michigan Tech President Glenn Mroz said in a statement. “It’s time we watch out for one another.”

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 Lisa Von Ahn, Toni Reinhold

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