A racist text message was sent to University of Florida students over a network used to alert students of life-threatening emergencies. RadarOnline.com has exclusively obtained an email sent to students of the Gainesville-based school, detailing the incident. Authorities have a suspect but have not identified the person.
The text message said “The monkey got out of the cage” and was sent at 8:45 p.m. Tuesday. While a university report characterized it as a “mystery message” many students said there was no doubt it was racist.
The university is working with the State Attorney’s Office and local police to determine jurisdiction. Mobile Campus, a national system which provides emergency alerts and other text messaging services to the university, announced that their system had been improperly used and they were shutting it down until they could review logs and determine who sent the message.
Here is the message sent to UF students about the incidents:
I’m writing to let you know that the University of Florida Police Department has a suspect in the unauthorized text message sent Tuesday night that prompted speculation and some concern among students and staff.
The suspect’s name is being withheld because of an ongoing police investigation into the matter. How that person accessed the system remains unclear.
We are working with the State Attorney’s Office and the Gainesville Police Department to determine into whose jurisdiction the case falls before pursuing criminal charges.
The text message, which was sent about 8:45 p.m. Tuesday, read, “The monkey got out of the cage.” I would like to make clear that the message was not authorized by UF nor by Mobile Campus or Acceleration, the companies that provide the university’s text messaging service.
The UF Alert text messaging system normally is used to send out messages about campus emergencies, including campus closings and imminent dangers. Students are asked to provide or update their cell phone numbers each semester when they register for classes.
Again, please know that the university’s top priority in this matter remains safeguarding students’ and staff members’ private data, as well as the integrity of the text messaging system.