‘Vile, hurtful messages’ have Kent State officials considering whether to remove the Rock

“The Rock” has been defaced at least three times in the last few weeks
Updated: Sep. 7, 2020 at 9:46 PM EDT
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KENT, Ohio (WOIO) - Many know of “the Rock,” a fixture on the lawn along East Main Street that has been a part of the Kent State campus for nearly a century.

It has been painted several times over the decades, typically to convey school spirit or draw attention toward campus initiatives.

But now, university officials are weighing whether to fence off or remove the rock entirely, after images and messaging were painted on it this past Saturday that sought to disparage the Black community.

Officials released the following statement condemning the incident:

“We are appalled that some continue to use the Rock to convey vile, hurtful messages that are threatening to our Kent State community, specifically our Black community, and against our core values. Because of the repeated nature of these messages, we are investigating several potential actions, including fencing off the Rock, installing security cameras and even the Rock’s removal. Now more than ever we commit to inclusion, respect and kindness as the most authentic expressions of who we are as a university and who we are as a family.”

At the end of August, someone painted “white lives matter” on the rock, which drew concern from students and faculty alike.

Return to 19 News for updates.

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