The University of Missouri has been mired in controversy regarding alleged racism on campus, and things appeared to escalate Tuesday night following reported threats on social media made against black students on campus. A screenshot of a Yik Yak conversation insinuating that black students would be shot has prompted the school to increase security, and the University of Missouri's MU Alert website issued two warnings on Tuesday night, telling students to be safe yet also to avoid spreading rumors. Regardless, the climate at the Columbia, Missouri, university is intense, and the hashtag #PrayForMizzou has emerged as means of supporting students in fear for their safety. These poignant #PrayForMizzou tweets show just how far-reaching this threat of violence persists.
Students and teachers alike are taking major precautions regarding the potential threat against them, just one day after mass student and faculty protests against the university's handling of racism forced the system's president and the campus' chancellor to step down. A finance teacher reportedly canceled their Wednesday class while many other students have stated that they feel uncomfortable even setting foot on campus. Mizzou Student Body President Payton Head, who apologized for sharing "misinformation," has urged students to continue to monitor MU Alerts for information regarding the aforementioned social media threats. As of early Wednesday morning, the campus is continuing to operate as normal and is currently not on lockdown. But tweets have continued to pour in with people around the country expressing support for students and dismay for the alleged threats being made.
Black students are reportedly being targeted, a claim that highlights the depressing reality that many still face discrimination despite the gains that have been made for equality in the United States.
Safety is the No. 1 priority for those who stand with students at the University of Missouri. Whether it's offering app tips or acknowledging that no one should be made to feel uncomfortable while pursuing a higher education, many have been tweeting about the subject since that first screenshot of the alleged Yik Yak message was released.
The many #PrayForMizzou tweets with messages of solidarity show a simple wish for peace above all else.