SEATTLE (AP) -- Western Washington University canceled classes on Tuesday because of threats over the weekend against minorities posted on YikYak, an anonymous social media platform populated by college students.
The university sent out an alert and an email to students just after 6 a.m. from President Bruce Shepard. It is unknown if the people who posted the threats are students at the state university in Bellingham, but the posts were made from a phone located within 10 miles of campus, Shepard said.
"I need to be very clear here: we are not talking the merely insulting, rude, offensive commentary that trolls and various other lowlifes seem free to spew, willy nilly, although there has been plenty of that, too. No, this was hate speech," Shepard wrote in an email posted on the university website.
The posts mentioned almost every ethnic group, including blacks, Muslims, Jews and American Indians, and talked about an effort on campus to debate changing the university's mascot, a Viking. The threats came days after some student leaders suggested that the mascot is racist.
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