Updated Monday, Nov. 16, 2:48 p.m. EST: The 21-year-old Michigan Technological University student who is accused of making social media threats against black students at the school refused to enter a plea to a charge of disturbing the peace when asked, Reuters reports. The judge in the Houghton County District Court reportedly entered a plea of not guilty for the student, now identified as Matthew Allen Shultz.
Shultz's lawyer, Tony Ruiz, said that Shultz has not seen any of the evidence against him thus far. "I would ask that judgment be reserved until more information is obtained," Ruiz told Reuters in an email.
"What I can say is that Mr. Schultz never intended to threaten or cause harm to anyone and is opposed to any action that would disrupt the harmony and peacefulness on Michigan Tech's campus. Regardless of the legal outcome, Mr. Schultz is now facing the serious collateral consequences of these events," Ruiz said.
The school, however, released a statement following the hearing, saying that the perceived threat was being taken "very seriously," and it would provide any relevant information to the prosecutor.
A Michigan Technological University student is scheduled to appear in court Monday for arraignment in relation to a charge of disturbing the peace after allegedly making social media threats against black students at the school, Reuters reports.
The unidentified male student was arrested Thursday night and released on bond Friday. The school has placed the student on interim suspension. Michigan Tech has also banned him from the Houghton campus while the threat, which has not been specified, is investigated.
According to the report, on Sunday, about 200 students, faculty, staff and community residents marched through campus to the downtown Houghton County Courthouse to observe a moment of silence and protest the charge, claiming that it was too lenient. The small state university has about 7,000 students, of whom a mere 82 are black.
Retuers noted that the threat made by the MTU student is similar to that made through the anonymous messaging app Yik Yak that spiraled the University of Missouri into high alert after the ouster of President Tim Wolfe. Two men were arrested in Missouri for threatening black students.