Oregon Students Confess to Hanging Obama Cutout from Tree
The university said in a statement today the penalties are "immediate long-term suspension and public service." The school says the four confessed to their involvement.
It says federal privacy rules prevent it from disclosing the length of the suspensions or the names of the students.
The life-size cardboard cutout, a commercial product, was hung last week with fishing line around the neck.
An official of the Christian school of about 1,800 students called the image of a black man hanged from a tree one of the most hurtful symbols of racism in American history.
At the very best, this is an embarassing instance of ignorance and stupidity; at the worst, a very public display of racism and hate. Neither is acceptable in this day and age, and I'm certainly glad the students had the courage to turn themselves in and deal with the consequences of their actions.
Campus administrators, who announced Tuesday that the students involved had confessed but didn't reveal the culprits' explanations, insist that this is an isolated case that doesn't reflect on the belief systems of those who walk George Fox's hallways. The school's traditions are based on the Quaker faith, and the Quakers famously participated in the Underground Railroad, helping slaves to freedom. In a campus-wide speech on Thursday, the school's president made clear that the incident was not Christian. "We absolutely cannot hate those around us and say that we love God," Robin Baker said. "It is not possible."
I'm quite surprised that local law enforcement hasn't intervened in this case with charges, although perhaps that is still to come.