Students Outraged Over Virginia Tech Halloween Costumes

Published: December 10, 2007

UNIVERSITY PARK, Penn. – Students at both Virginia Tech and Pennsylvania State University are outraged by the costume choice of two Penn State students who decided to dress as Virginia Tech victims.

Photos posted on the popular social networking site Facebook.com show two students at a Halloween party wearing Virginia Tech attire with fake bullet wounds and blood on their face and chest. The pictures reportedly prompted death threats.

One of the students involved, senior biochemistry major Nathan Jones, said to the Penn State newspaper, The Daily Collegian, he refused to apologize for the controversial costumes, adding that he never intended for the images to get out.

Jones added he would not want to visit the Virginia Tech campus because, “they might actually murder me. Apparently, violence is the answer.” So far, three people have been named of sending death threats to Jones.

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Tori Athey, a sophomore at Virginia Tech, stated the community at her school was still trying to cope with the tragedy. The images, she said, add to the pain the campus is still facing.

A spokeswoman for Penn State, Lisa Powers, said the community at Penn State, who has been an ally since the tragedy occurred, was horrified by the photos. According to Powers, one of the students involved is from Virginia.

However, the university will not discipline the students involved, citing freedom of speech protections in the Constitution.

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