A former Kean University student and an activist was charged for tweeting fake threats against black students, faculty and staff at the university last month.
Kayla-Simone McKelvey, of Union Township, was charged with one count of creating false public alarm. According to the Union County prosecutor’s office, McKelvey participated in a rally on racial issues at the university after which she went to a computer station in a campus library and wrote anonymous threats. One of these tweets referred to a bomb on campus, while others talked about shooting black students, as reported by CBS Local.
Kean University President Dawood Farahi said, “We are saddened to learn that the person allegedly responsible was an active participant in the rally.”
Union County Prosecutor Grace Park said McKelvey left in the middle of the rally. Prosecutors claimed that, after returning from the computer station, she attracted attention to the threats she had issued. Subsequently, additional police security was deployed. The Department of Homeland Security and state, county and local authorities were notified.
According to The Tower, a Kean University student newspaper, McKelvey serves as the president of the Pan-African Student union. In a March 2015 demonstration, she spoke against racial comments made by a Kean professor. The professor allegedly said that Tamir Rice, the boy who was fatally shot by a police officer in November last year, deserved to die.
“As a diverse academic community, we wholeheartedly respect and support activism, however, no cause or issue gives anyone the right to threaten the safety of others,” the school said. “We hope this information will begin to bring a sense of relief and security to the campus community.”
McKelvey is scheduled to appear in court in two weeks. It is not known whether she has retained an attorney.