Kayla McKelvey, 25, said that she wanted to bring attention to racism on campus.
A Black Kean University graduate has been sentenced to 90 days in jail plus five years probation for posting tweets threatening to kill the school’s Black students.
NJ.com reports that 25-year-old Kayla McKelvey, a student activist and honor student, posted the messages during a protest last fall. McKelvey says that after White counterprotestors began yelling racist chants at the rally, she escaped to the library, created an anonymous Twitter account and began posting racist messages in an attempt to highlight racism on campus.
“[I] made a poor error in judgement to shine a light on an issue that is important to me,” McKelvey said in court. “My intent was to expose racism on campus.”
Authorities say that her actions caused false public alarm and resulted in many of the school’s Black students missing two to three days of classes out of panic.
“To say that these threats were made for the greater good is disingenuous,” Union County Assistant Prosecutor Shawn Barnes said in court. “It was selfish. It was for her rally.”
McKelvey’s tweets came during a wave of racial protests on college campuses across the country last fall, spurned by unrest at the University of Missouri.
McKelvey, who has since lost her job, has been ordered to pay more than $80,000 in restitutions to government agencies who investigated the threats.