Former Kean student charged in connection with Twitter threats

 

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Kayla-Simone McKelvey was former PASU President (seen here in a rally in March 2015) and was charged for the Twitter threats against Kean students.

By Annalise Knudson | Posted on Dec. 1, 2015

An email was sent to Kean students on Tuesday, Dec. 1 at about 1:20 p.m. regarding an update from Kean President Farahi and the Union County Prosecutor. The email explained who the alleged person behind the Twitter threats was that caused turmoil on campus on Nov. 17.

Former student, Kayla-Simone McKelvey, 24, of Union Township, graduated Kean last Spring semester 2015, and was the former Pan-African Student Union (PASU) President.

She was charged via summons with a single count of third-degree creating a false public alarm.

The Tower wrote a story last semester about a rally that McKelvey organized. McKelvey was also Homecoming Queen last year in 2014.

Here is the email that was sent to Kean students via Kean email:

Message from President Farahi and the Union County Prosecutor

The Union County Prosecutor’s Office announced the results of its investigation and has charged the individual who sent the abhorrent tweets threatening the lives of members of our campus community. We are saddened to learn that the person allegedly responsible was an active participant in the rally that took place on campus on Tuesday, November 17 and is a former student of Kean. 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. We hope this information will begin to bring a sense of relief and security to the campus community.

Meanwhile, please know that the Counseling Center is open and available to all students. Kean continues to be one of the most diverse campuses in our country with a long-standing tradition of celebrating diversity and offering a world-class education to our student population.

Here is the statement from the County Prosecutor’s Office:
A former Kean University student has been charged with being responsible for a series of threatening Twitter posts targeting black students at the university last month, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Tuesday.

Kayla-Simone McKelvey, 24, of Union Township was charged via summons with a single count of third-degree creating a false public alarm.

An intensive joint investigation by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Prosecutions Unit and the Kean University Police Department revealed that McKelvey, a self-proclaimed activist, participated in a student rally regarding racial issues held on the evening of Tuesday, November 17, but left the rally midway through and walked to a computer station located in a university library.

Once there, McKelvey allegedly created an anonymous Twitter account and began posting racially charged threats of violence against black Kean students. After making the posts, McKelvey immediately returned to the rally and attempted to spread awareness of the threats she allegedly had just fabricated.

The investigation further revealed that there was never any actual plan to harm students.

A first appearance in the case has been scheduled to be held Monday, December 14 in the Union County Jail courtroom.


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