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Hocking College Threat

Hocking College officials in southeast Ohio are taking action to safeguard students after a threat on campus last week targeted black students. Counselors are on hand to empower students.

More security cameras and monitors as well as foot patrols are watching what happens at Hocking College. Someone wrote a threatening note against black students on a bathroom wall inside the Hocking Heights dormitory. The school is helping students take action with counselors. Doctor Roger Buck says the school has many students from island nations like Jamaica and Antigua who feel insecure.

"They're feeling pretty threatened because they're disempowered. A lot of them don't have transportation, they're here they don't have cars, they don't have a way. We're a very rural campus and so they feel trapped basically on campus." Buck says.

Buck says students have options.

"What we say to reassure students is we want to empower them. By empowering them we give them a choice of location as far as where they can stay until the threat passes." Buck says.

Buck says some students have moved out of the residence hall where the incident occurred and others may move to a hotel off campus owned by the college. Public Relations Director at the school, Judy Sinnott says a suspect has not yet been identified.

"We are investigating at this point there are no persons of interest. We have been interviewing individuals as tips come in, but at this point there is no one being singled out." Sinnott says.

The FBI is investigating. There is a five thousand dollar reward for information.

Debbie Holmes has worked at WOSU News since 2009. She has hosted All Things Considered, since May 2021. Prior to that she was the host of Morning Edition and a reporter.