AP, September 30, 2007
A Christian university in Oregon said Tuesday it has punished four students who confessed to hanging a likeness of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama from a tree on campus.
A statement from [George Fox University] said the penalties against the four students were “immediate long-term suspension and public service.” The school cited federal privacy rules in not disclosing more about the students or their punishment.
The FBI is investigating whether any civil rights were violated.
‘Act Six reject’
Felton said the university’s own investigation led to the four students. “To the best of our knowledge these are the only people involved,” he said. “We’re not pursuing it any further.”
“Regardless of the students’ intent, the image of a black man hung from a tree is one of the most hurtful symbols of racism in American history,” Lau said in the statement [Brad Lau, the university’s vice president of student life]. “Displays such as this have no place on a campus that is dedicated to living out the teachings of Jesus.”
[Editor’s Note: The original report of this incident can be read here.]