Ohio school says 2 students charged for offensive graffiti

Graffiti generic

CINCINNATI (AP) – Two Miami University students have been charged with criminal mischief and face school disciplinary action in connection with offensive graffiti at a residential hall, authorities said Tuesday.

School president David Hodge called the graffiti “profane, racist, sexist, anti-Semitic and homophobic,” and sent a university-wide message Monday saying university police were called to investigate.

A police report says the 19-year-old students, both freshmen, were seen vandalizing a hallway information board Saturday night. Police say the students admitted writing “stupid” and “racist stuff,” and also expressed regret, saying they weren’t racist.

Photos of the graffiti, released by police, show offensive and vulgar words, a crudely drawn swastika, and unrelated phrases scrawled on an information board in Wells Hall.

Police say William Robert Armour and Samir Arora Lal have been charged with misdemeanors. They are due in court April 16.

Lal declined to comment Tuesday; Armour didn’t respond immediately to an emailed request.

University spokeswoman Claire Wagner said discipline hearings will be held soon.

Hodge’s message also said two apparently unrelated cases of other offensive graffiti at two Miami fraternities were under investigation. He didn’t go into detail. Wagner said fraternity leaders plan to talk with police about them.

The president expressed disappointment that any students would behave in “such a reprehensible way” and apparently intend to offend and hurt others.

“Unfortunately, it seems Miami is not immune from the behaviors that have challenged college campuses across the country during the past few weeks,” Hodge wrote.

“As a community, we must stand together to confront behavior that violates the values and beliefs we hold, and work to create a culture built upon the respect and trust called for in our code of Love and Honor,” he said in his message.

In the fall of 2012, a Miami student pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct for an offensive flier about rape that was posted in a coed dorm bathroom that October. The school refused to identify the student or say how he was disciplined, but last year said he hadn’t been enrolled at the school since October 2012.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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