University officials said they are continuing to investigate a graffiti threat discovered in a Gladfelter Hall bathroom that referenced the Columbine shootings and threatened to bring a similar situation to Main Campus on April 20 – the 14-year anniversary of the Colorado high school shooting.
The threat, which was reported to Campus Safety Services in March, has led to joint efforts between Temple Police, Philadelphia Police, Philadelphia Police’s Homeland Security Unit and the FBI to maintain security on campus and continue the ongoing investigation. University officials declined to comment on the current status of the investigation.
“The investigation is ongoing, so we aren’t going to be talking about details right now. What I can assure you is we’ve been very aggressively pursuing this matter, as we would any matter like this,” said Assistant Vice President for University Communications Ray Betzner, who added that threats of this nature are “extremely rare.”
Following a news report on Fox 29 on April 11, the university issued a TU Advisory on April 12 and addressed the threat. Prior to Fox 29’s report, the university community was not made aware of the situation.
“The news report that went out was creating a lot of questions, and we thought we needed to respond to some of the questions that were coming up,” Betzner said.
Betzner would not say if there was any intent to inform the community of the threat prior to last week’s news report.
In light of the threat, the university has increased security on campus.
“We want to assure you that the safety of the Temple community is our top priority and every effort is being made to keep our students, faculty and staff safe,” the advisory read.
Ali Watkins can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org on Twitter @AliMarieWatkins.