Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Student Suspended Following Social Media Posts; UNF President Delvaney Issues Calm Message after Inflammatory Images with the Message 'It Is Okay to Be WHITE!'

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Student Suspended Following Social Media Posts; UNF President Delvaney Issues Calm Message after Inflammatory Images with the Message 'It Is Okay to Be WHITE!'

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Scanlan

A 37-year-old University of North Florida student has been suspended following a flurry of social media posts Monday that started multiple rumors and prompted University of North Florida's president to issue his own message of calm on campus.

Student Ken Parker has been banned from campus and will need university police to escort him to a Monday disciplinary hearing to determine if he can even return, UNF President John Delaney said. That will be followed by a second hearing into whether Parker violated the campus code of conduct.

Parker, swastikas tattooed on his chest, is seen holding an assault rifle in a Twitter post telling someone that "it is okay to be WHITE!" He writes in the post that if anyone in UNF's Students for a Democratic Society comes at him, he will "shut them down," adding they have yet to confront him on campus. Parker is the former grand dragon of Jacksonville's chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.

After Monday social media postings that included what Delaney called a "threatening message," then a growing rumor mill of concern for safety on campus that saw a philosophy professor cancel a class and some staff and students staying home, he posted his own Tuesday message.

"We felt we had to calm some people down, and what's crippling is some of what we have done, we can't talk about specifically," Delaney said. "... We have not contacted any other agencies and have officers undercover walking around, so no need to do any more. If something pops up, we are trying to knock it down."

The issue included students reporting signs saying "It's okay to be white" and "It's okay to be capitalist" on campus, Delaney said. He confirmed that similar signs have also appeared at other college and high school campuses across the nation recently.

He called it "a particularly tumultuous time" for his and many other colleges. …

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