May 14, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: Threats Continue

Danger or Diversion?
Campus wonders if graffiti threats foretell violence or are tactics to disrupt finals

A Johnson County Community College student discovered another graffiti threat last night in the Billington Library.

According to a posting on the college's electronic server dedicated to the library staff, the threat mentioned a specific date -- May 15.

"Just to let everyone know, last night a student reported another incident of graffiti in the first floor men’s restroom," the posting reads. "Apparently the graffiti mentioned May 15 as a specific date."

The post added that the Department of Public Safety documented the threat and to talked to the student who reported the incident.

In an April 30 posting to another of the college's electronic mail servers, Infolist, Terry Calaway, president of JCCC, said the campus community has no reason for alarm.

"The most likely motivation for these actions is to cause turmoil rather than to perpetrate an actual act of violence," he said. "However, a positive effect of such a situation is that it raises awareness. This is a stressful time of year for all of us." Read the full posting here.

The Campus Ledger reported the college's response to previous graffiti threats.
Threats of violence on campus are being combated with awareness.

The evening of April 23, an adjunct professor discovered graffiti in a stall of the men’s restroom on the second floor of GEB. It threatened violent acts on campus in May.

The following Monday, April 28, a similar incident of graffiti was reported to be found in the men’s bathroom on the second floor of the Science Building.

Terry Calaway, college president, said, “We do not feel that there is any reason for alarm or worry. This is most likely someone trying to cause panic.” Read The Ledger story here.
A week later, another posting on Infolist called for volunteers to report additional instances of graffiti. Read the full posting here.

That same day Calaway addressed the graffiti incidents during a town hall meeting. He said no specifics were given nor were any specific groups targeted. He added that Overland Park police reported similar incidents at area high schools and attributed them to students wanting to get out of class. Read the Town Hall notes here

The two occurrences incidents reported by The Ledger and the one in the latest incident in library all appeared in men's restrooms. A previous threat appeared in the library women's restroom in February. Read that account here.