A Virginia college student has left school after confessing to posting a series of “White Only” and "Colored” signs on campus last week.
The signs stoked racial tensions at Sweet Briar College after appearing on two doors and a water cooler in the school’s Meta Glass dormitory, according to a statement from the school. The college’s interim president, James Jones, told The News & Advance the unnamed student made the decision to leave on her own volition.
“She decided to leave this afternoon,” Jones said Wednesday. “We have to applaud her for the moral fiber of having made that decision on her own part.”
After receiving hundreds of letters inquiring about the student, Jones ultimately revealed the culprit is an African American female. He said he made the revelation to clear up "groundless assumptions" about race, The News & Advance notes.
The student’s voluntary withdrawal from school follows an apology email, entitled “With Great Remorse," that she sent to Jones on Aug. 30. The message read:
While posting these extremely hurtful labels, I had one thing in mind. My mission was to show others that words can still have an extreme impact, and the past still resonates with us all. While moving forward, we can never really shake the past. The past is a part of us and we are a part of the past. While they did not necessarily know this before, we are all equal and nobody deserves to be treated unfairly. I was trying to make a point, but the point ended up “making me”…now everyone has ideas on what type of person that I am. I am none of these things.…I am myself, I am caring and kind. I am the last person who would ever intentionally hurt someone else, but most of all, I am sorry!
On Sept. 3, the college was put into a brief lockdown after receiving a threatening phone call from an anonymous male who demanded the identity of the student behind the signs.
Betty Wise, of the the Amherst County Sheriff's Office, said the caller made the following statement, per local ABC affiliate WSET-TV:
"We want justice."
"Who is the white girl that did this?"
"Ferguson and now this." (referring to the racial unrest in Ferguson, MO)
"Hands up! Don't shoot!"
"We're coming up there. We want justice."
Authorities promptly determined there was no evidence the caller attended Sweet Briar and that he was not an imminent threat.
The school’s investigation into the signs has been officially closed, Jones said in a statement released Sept. 3, but “the discussions about inclusion and respect must continue on our campus.”
“We must acknowledge the pain that has befallen our community, and we must find a path forward," he said.