UNION, NJ - Former student Kayla-Simone McKelvey, 24, of Union Township, has been charged with being responsible for a series of false threatening Twitter posts targeting black students at Kean University last month.
After an investigation by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Prosecutions Unit and the Kean University Police Department, it was revealed that McKelvey, an African-American self-proclaimed activist, participated in a student rally regarding racial issues held on the evening of Tuesday, Nov. 17, but left the rally midway through and walked to a computer station located in a university library.
Once there, McKelvey allegedly created an anonymous Twitter account and began posting racially charged threats of violence against black Kean students. After making the posts, McKelvey immediately returned to the rally and attempted to spread awareness of the threats she allegedly had just fabricated. The investigation further revealed that there was never any actual plan to harm students.
McKelvey, has been charged via summons with a single count of third-degree creating a false public alarm. A first appearance in the case has been scheduled for Monday, Dec. 14, in the Union County Jail courtroom.
In a message sent to all Kean students and faculty on Tuesday, University President Dawood Farahi stated, “The Union County Prosecutor’s Office announced the results of its investigation and has charged the individual who sent the abhorrent tweets threatening the lives of members of our campus community. We are saddened to learn that the person allegedly responsible was an active participant in the rally that took place on campus on Tuesday, Nov. 17 and is a former student of Kean. As a diverse academic community, we wholeheartedly respect and support activism, however, no cause or issue gives anyone the right to threaten the safety of others. We hope this information will begin to bring a sense of relief and security to the campus community. Meanwhile, please know that the Counseling Center is open and available to all students. Kean continues to be one of the most diverse campuses in our country with a long-standing tradition of celebrating diversity and offering a world-class education to our student population.”