Oberlin College cancels classes after racial incident

School officials say that security officers and local police are investigating a report of a person on campus wearing Ku Klux Klan-like attire.

Ohio liberal arts college Oberlin canceled classes Monday and convened a "day of solidarity" after a person was seen on campus wearing robes and a hood made to look like a Ku Klux Klan wardrobe.

The incident was the latest in a string of racial disturbances at the college.

On Feb. 9, someone reportedly got into Oberlin College's Science Center and defaced Black History Month posters by replacing the word "Black" with the n-word, destroyed a Chinese calendar and scrawled swastikas across posters advertising the "Year of the Queer," according to The Oberlin Review.

Since then, the bias incidents have occurred nearly weekly, culminating with Monday's sighting of a person dressed in KKK-style white flowing robes and a hood walking near the school's Afrikan Heritage House. Officials say police are investigating that report.

To protest the hate incidents, Oberlin suspended classes and nonessential activities and instead offered students and faculty a chance to gather and discuss what Oberlin's president, Marvin Krislov, called "the challenging issues that have faced our community in recent weeks," according to The New York Times.

The school’s radio station, WOBC, broadcast the day's turn of events and was so inundated with listeners that the station's live stream crashed.

Oberlin alum Kim France, founder of Lucky magazine and writer of the blog Girls of a Certain Age, said, "I guess the best way to put it is that students at Oberlin are proud of their history of tolerance the way other colleges and universities are proud of their winning football teams."

Other notable alumni include "Girls" star and creator Lena Dunham, who tweeted, "This really saddens me. The school I remember was the safest place."

France, who remembers her days at Oberlin fondly, says, "Canceling classes signals how seriously the administration is taking this, which is good — and Oberlin's student body would demand nothing less."


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