Dean of Students: ‘There is no further threat’

March 15, 2013 | By | 9 Replies More

Yesterday afternoon, the Dean of Students Office issued a message to students regarding a previous terroristic threat to Georgia Southern University’s campus that was resolved in early February.

“We got an email, an anonymous email that said someone had seen a posting on the blogging site Tumblr, and that there was a threatening message about ‘shooting up’ Georgia Southern University,” Chief Michael Russell, director of Public Safety, said.

On Feb. 8 Caleb Jamaal Clemmons, a 20-year-old GSU student, was arrested and charged with terroristic threats via computer.

“We were able to access the site, and there were some pictures of the person,” Russell said. “We were able to identify that person as a student, and we arrested him a short time later.”

The message was sent after Dean of Students Patrice Jackson heard that the old posting on social media sites had resurfaced and was brought to the attention of students.

“I felt in order to answer any questions about a perceived threat or a fear of a threat, I needed to let students know we had resolved the issue,” Jackson said.

“The accused person is no longer on campus,” according to the email message from Jackson.

Authorities searched Clemmons’ residence and found no weapons or any signs of a plan or plot to attack, Russell said.

Clemmons told authorities that he made the post as a joke to see how long it would take him to be arrested, which only took around three hours, Russell said.

The university community was not originally notified because there was no continuous threat, Jackson said.

“The Dean of Students Office is responsible for the notifications to students, and our standard is, ‘Is there a continued threat?’ because the purpose of the notification is not just to give you information, but it’s also so you can be aware and protect yourself and take extra, cautious steps if need be,” Jackson said.

The reason email message contained very few details was due to protections Clemmons receives under the Federal Education Rights to Privacy Act, which protects and information that is considered an education record such as conduct or judicial records, Jackson said.

Neither Russell nor Jackson were able to confirm whether Clemmons was expelled or offer information regarding judicial actions by the university due to FERPA.

Russell said that GSU authorities are trying to contact Tumblr to have the post removed.

Category: News

About the Author ()

Farmer is a senior journalism major from Cordele, Ga. She has been the Editor-in-Chief since May 2013. She was a graduate of the spring 2012 candidate class. In the summer and fall after, Farmer was a news reporter. She was the news section editor in spring 2013 and moved to be the managing editor in the same semester.

Comments (9)

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  1. jessica siwicki says:

    If he is in jail, let him free. He was just being an idiot. Should be trialed now to see if he has learnt his lesson. Let him have a future!

  2. T says:

    Really though that entire website is satirical, stupid postings (literally millions of them) that either don’t make sense or they are just hollow statements/arguments that carry no real weight in the real world. I think the folks at GSU went too far/really missed something and have thoroughly embarrassed themselves.

  3. erik says:

    Caleb Clemmons is an intelligent young man and student. His blog offered insightful, satirical commentary on contemporary culture. He does not deserve the horrendous treatment he is receiving while incarcerated for a simple and obvious joke he put on his blog while in character. He often posted in character, playing a role that his entire audience understood as such. There was nothing terroristic or threatening about his post, and accusing it of being a terrorist threat is like accusing a film villain of terrorist threats.

  4. Zoasterboy says:

    I can’t believe this isn’t getting any coverage in the news. Justin Carter, the kid who made “terroristic threats” over Xbox is getting loads of media attention and someone posted his 500,000 dollar bail?? Caleb’s bail was 40,000 and it sits unpaid. The only difference between Caleb’s scenario and Justin’s is that Justin is white.

  5. Brian says:

    It’s ridiculous that Caleb is still being jailed right now over a joke. A literal joke. He posted a picture of himself, inside of the school for god’s sake. He had no weapons on his person or at his home, no plans of attacking, hundreds of followers on his blog to vouch for him showing no signs of a violent persona, and was also in character, as he often does, when the post was made. Caleb’s suffering right now, in a poorly manned prison, and could face up to 20 years for a joke. He harmed no one, and the post was taken severely out of context. Please find a way to right this wrong.

  6. shakey says:

    man…this is like accusing The Onion of false reporting….let the dude go before you embarrass the hell out of yourselves

  7. Chris in Peru says:

    This is the silliest story and over reaction I have heard in a long time. First you have a fool hardy, somewhat misguided young individual, playing with matches. Then you have an overzealous authority, not only scaring the public, but making international headlines all the while looking like rather foolish as well.

    I hope the University News takes this opportunity to put this to bed soon – with a stern talking to for this young man.

  8. eric berry says:

    Update on Caleb. I ran into him tonight. I helped him out. He is now homeless because his moms put him out because he has not been able to find a job and was in the county jail here in Douglas county for a bit. He seems to be a very sincere man. I did not know him well enough to give him shelter tonight but he does have someone who has offered him shelter. He has also stayed in a homeless shelter here in Douglas county. I gave him more food to carry with him and clothes shoes and a warm blanket. I asked him to stay in touch and let me know what is going on. Why this could not be seen as a first time offense who knows? Oh maybe because he is a black man and maybe an over zealous prosecutor?

  9. J-Hot says:

    i heard he was hoping to become somewhat of an internet celebrity. he really only did it in hopes of becoming a viral internet event yknow. on a much larger scale though. like he basically wanted it to be sort of an active like…..”surround sound” horror movie sort of thing. meaning that he wanted like..gsu students who were on tumblr and knew him from tumblr to experience the spectacle of an environment gripped by the fear of a “threat” that most (besides those not on tumblr) knew to be fake. a sort of like…inside joke thing….yknow….

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