Trinity College, a small liberal arts school in Hartford, Conn., closed Wednesday afternoon after receiving threats.
The school said on Twitter that “due to threats received and out of an abundance of caution,” campus buildings had been locked and that the college was closed.
The Hartford police deputy chief, Brian Foley, wrote in a message on Twitter that detectives are “investigating nonspecific” threats involving the Trinity campus and that there was “no immediate danger to students or staff.”
Trinity spokeswoman Kathy Andrews said that the school had received “multiple threats in relation to social media posts.”
According to a report from the Hartford Courant, Trinity sociology professor Johnny Eric Williams wrote posts on Facebook that referenced white supremacy. Williams told the Courant that the Facebook posts were taken out of context by conservative news outlets.
“I’m calling for the death of a system, white supremacy, not the death of white people,” Williams told the Courant.
In one post, Williams wrote that he was fed up with “with self-identified ‘white’s’ daily violence directed at immigrants, Muslims, and sexual and racially oppressed people.” He urged confrontation to “end this now.”
The school posted an alert on its website at 1:10 p.m.:
To the Trinity Campus Community,
Given the threats to campus and upon consultation with the President’s Cabinet, the decision has been made to close the College until further notice. All employees and guests are to leave campus for the day and stay tuned for updates.
Hartford Police Department is assisting the College in investigating the threats received. There will be an ongoing enhanced security presence on campus.
Dean of Students/Residential Life will work with students currently residing on campus.
Updates will be posted on this page.
—Trinity College Emergency Management Team
About three hours later, Trinity President Joanne Berger-Sweeney addressed the issue in an email to the campus community. She said the dean of the faculty at Trinity would be reviewing the episode to determine whether any procedures or policies were broken.
“This incident has caused distress on our campus and beyond; threats of violence have been directed to Professor Williams and to our campus community, neither of which is an acceptable response,” Berger-Sweeney wrote. “I denounce hate speech in all its forms. I will explore all options to resolve this matter.”