MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) — Major developments in a story that has been all over social media in the Mobile area.
University of South Alabama officials say a student has confessed to hanging two nooses from a tree near the campus dining hall.
It was a Snapchat picture that circulated on social media that sparked the outrage. The picture showed a noose hanging from a tree outside the campus cafeteria.
At first, school officials reported there was no noose at the time officers responded to the scene. They said the rope from left over from a banner.
But others felt they clearly saw a noose in the picture.
Student leaders like the President of the University of South Alabama Black Student Union spoke out.
Zorrya Kelley said, “It was a combination of, like, anger at first and then fear. Our emotions are all over the place, really.”
But Wednesday evening, the university issued a statement saying a student confessed, and police determined he acted alone in hanging a bicycle and two nooses in a tree.
The school says he has been suspended and banned from campus pending a formal hearing.
One student said, “People need to respect other groups of people and be more sensitive to other people on campus.”
Another said, “History is history and we can’t go back. We just all need to move forward as a community and do better by everyone and this is a diverse campus, so we’re really just upset about this situation.”
The school also cited another offensive tweet posted under the USA Dining Twitter account which read, in part, “…Our food is killer! Come get some fried chicken…”
University officials said the account is managed by Aramark, the school’s food vendor, and the Aramark employee who posted the tweet is no longer employed by that company.
School officials also said counselors will be available at no charge for students who want to talk more about the incident.
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