Ninjas terrify ASU

Students face disciplinary action for false alarm

Stephanie Atchley


On February 14, texts were sent out to students alerting them that two armed men were on the Arkansas State University campus at about 2 pm. Later, another text was sent out, saying that it was three men, instead of two. After an hour of confusion and a campus on lockdown, the students and the community were finally informed the threat had passed without incident.

After further investigation, police reported that the campus was safe and that it was all just a false alarm. Two male students that were costumed in all black for a film project had been wandering around the student union. Later, the police reported that the students did not have a firearm or anything that resembled one. The film makers now may be reporting to the ASU disciplinary board to face ethics charges.

The students should obviously not be facing any type of punishment for an incident that was not their responsibility. The students did not do anything to make other students believe that they were armed besides the factor of how they were dressed, which was also not intentional. Most people do not judge their outfits in the morning on whether or not they looked like an armed shooter. It is an honest mistake, especially considering the fact that the students were only costumed to be ninjas for their films.

If the school board decides to punish them solely on looking like an armed shooter, then the school would be discriminating against students who decide to dress differently. Dressing in all black is not against the school handbook, so the school would not be able to punish them for their costumes.

While it is great that the students, school and police reacted swiftly to the false alarm, going to extreme lengths by punishing students because they incidentally looked like a stereotypical armed shooter is pushing the school’s limits a bit too far. The students were not intentionally trying to scare anyone, and no one in the incident had been hurt. It was just a scare, and, if anything, it gave students, the school and the local police force good practice, if heaven forbid, there was a real situation.