Maryland college cancels classes after racist graffiti found

SALISBURY, Md. (AP) — Officials at a Maryland university canceled classes for a day after graffiti threatening black students with lynching was discovered scrawled in academic buildings.

The messages were found written across a wall and a door in academic buildings on Wednesday at Salisbury University, news outlets reported. The FBI has joined the investigation by university police, Maryland State Police, the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office and the Salisbury Police Department, the outlets said.

Classes were set to resume Friday. Salisbury University President Charles A. Wight canceled Thursday’s classes, explaining in a statement that the campus community needed “the opportunity to come together to process” what happened, support each other and figure out how to move forward.

Support services including the Counseling Center and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion remained open, and the university held sessions to address concerns and answer questions, the statement said. Police also have increased their presence on campus, Wight added.

This is the second recent instance of such graffiti being found on campus, news outlets reported. In November, Salisbury University police were called to investigate messages written inside two stairwells that included racial slurs and references to the 2012 shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in which 26 people were killed by a gunman at an elementary school.

Police haven’t made any arrests or publicly named a suspect in either case.

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