Eastern Kentucky University cancels classes after threat on bathroom wall

Posted at 8:02 PM, Oct 07, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-07 22:02:51-04
By Greg Botelho and Sam Stringer


(CNN) — Graffiti on a bathroom wall — with the message “KILL ALL BY 10/8/15 THIS BU OOP” — prompted officials at Eastern Kentucky University to shut down the school into next week.

The threatening vandalism was found Monday morning in the school’s Powell Building. The school’s president issued a statement later that day, acknowledging the message had particular resonance coming so soon after the shooting at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College, where a gunman killed nine people.

“In light of the recent tragedy at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, I am acutely aware that this morning’s announcement concerning a threat of violence posted in one of our campus buildings is disturbing and unsettling for all of us,” said President Michael Benson.

The school continued to issue updates on its website before announcing its decision to call off all classes Wednesday through the weekend.

School spokesman Jerry Wallace noted that the university of more than 16,000 students was already scheduled for fall break Monday and Tuesday, meaning classes aren’t set to resume until the middle of next week.

Eastern Kentucky University shifted a number of other activities as well, like moving the Colonels football game Thursday night against Tennessee Tech to the stadium at Georgetown College, which is also in Richmond, Kentucky.

In a letter to students, the university president explained the decisions were made “to allow law enforcement to conduct a thorough investigation of the continuing threat and ensure the safety of our campus community.”

“Our primary goals in assessing this situation are limiting any safety risks and avoiding disruption to learning and teaching,” Benson said. “While we are confident the responding team of law enforcement agencies has kept a watchful eye over our community and is diligently investigating the threat, it has become clear this incident continues to be unsettling to a number of our students, faculty and staff.”