UPDATED STORY: Auburn University released the following statement on the threat made to the campus:
University officials and local and federal law enforcement officers continue investigating a report of a threatening message about campus. Reports late yesterday of a suspicious person on campus and a photo circulating on social media that connected the threat to the anniversary of the Virginia Tech tragedy raised legitimate concerns among the campus community. Although Auburn Police officials expressed they don’t believe this alleged threat represents any danger, security was increased and the university remains closed to normal operations until tomorrow morning out of an abundance of caution. Our top concern is the safety and well-being of students, faculty, staff and visitors. As always, we encourage everyone to be aware of their surroundings and immediately report any suspicious activity by calling 911. We will update the campus community later today.
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) – Auburn University canceled classes Wednesday over a threatening message found in a campus restroom, school officials said.
Authorities had not substantiated any immediate safety threat, but police were still investigating, according to a university statement.
Officers increased visibility around the east Alabama campus of more than 25,000 students, and a city middle school was briefly locked down as a precaution before police gave an all-clear.
The university said it called off classes because of anxiety among parents and teachers over information circulated about the threatening message.
A university alert went out late Tuesday after the posts began spreading, and officials later called off classes.
“While we have substantiated no immediate threat, we have canceled classes and suspended normal university operations today because the safety of our students, faculty and employees is our primary concern,” said a statement by university spokesman Mike Clardy.
Clardy did not respond to questions seeking details on the decision and the threat.
The shutdown came a day after the University of North Alabama, in Florence, said it was increasing police patrols because of a threat posted on social media to “shoot up the campus.”
Police determined the threat was not credible but stationed more officers on campus as a precaution, officials said.
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