Penn: Man behind racist texts had been offered admission

Written by The Associated Press | Nov 16, 2016 8:43 AM

College Hall and Ben Franklin statue at the University of Pennsylvania (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons user Bryan Y.W. Shin)

(Philadelphia) -- The University of Pennsylvania says a former University of Oklahoma student who sent racist text messages to black Penn freshmen had been offered admission to the Ivy League school in May.

But Penn officials say the student, who hasn't been publicly named, decided to enroll at Oklahoma instead.

Because he was offered admission, the student was given access to a private Facebook group for Penn's Class of 2020, which is how he was able to access the students' contact information.

Oklahoma officials say the student who sent the messages referencing lynching and racial slurs through the GroupMe messaging app is no longer enrolled there.

University of Oklahoma President David Boren says the university has "zero tolerance" for those who take part in racism.

He says OU will maintain a strong sense of community that values and respects all students.

Penn officials are working to prevent similar student access issues in the future, and university police continue to work with Oklahoma officials on an FBI investigation.

The Associated Press and other media outlets have identified several reports of racist incidents at schools since Donald Trump was elected president including a group chat that the Oklahoma student got involved with aimed at black freshmen at Pennsylvania, Trump's alma mater.

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