UNIVERSITY CITY (WTXF) - “It was heartbreaking to hear.”
“I think it's very scary.”
Hearts are hurting in University City after racial threats were made against black freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania through an anonymous messaging app called GroupMe.
Early this morning Penn officials announced a student at the University of Oklahoma has been temporarily suspended from the school based on information gathered in the case.
The hateful, racist messages may not have originated at OU - but the Midwestern school and the FBI are investigating the now-disciplined student to determine his exact involvement.
Ashley Opalka from West Philadelphia said, “That's what's frightening about the internet - it can be bounced all over the place and why target Penn? And who knows where it started the anonymity is what makes it frightening.”
Anuj Shah, a Penn State student visiting friends at the university said, “I feel that the results of this election almost incited people to make it feel ok to say these comments.”
OU President David Boren issued a statement saying that the university has "made it clear that we will not tolerate racism or hate speech that constitutes a threat to our campus or others."
UPenn Freshman Maggie Danaher says the school community feels personally attacked -- many still shaken.
“I was at the football game last night my mom and sister are here from Chicago and the fact that this is their impression of my school, these people don't feel like their community is being heard here - it was hard to watch.”
Penn officials say they appreciate the good investigative work and swift action taken at OU -- and add - that "our overriding concern is the safety and well-being of our students, and we will continue to do everything to support them so they can recover from this deplorable incident."
The university says Penn Police will continue to work with the FBI and officials at University of Oklahoma on this investigation to determine who else may have been involved.