Fliers with Ku Klux Klan-related rhetoric were found scattered in Franklin College parking lots early Tuesday morning.
College security officer Raymond Price called the Franklin Police Department after discovering the fliers at 2:40 a.m. in the Hamilton, Park Avenue and Forsythe lots.
Price had just checked the lots at 1:45 a.m., meaning the individual or individuals who placed them on campus had about an hour window to do it.
There were 18 fliers found in total in the lots, most of which were on the ground. Others were placed on parked vehicles.
None were found in buildings or posted on bulletin boards.
The fliers referenced the beliefs of the Loyal White Knights KKK group. Phrases like “love your own race,” “stop homosexuality and race mixing,” and “God’s laws don’t forget” were printed on the fliers inside heart clipart.
They also said, “Join the Klan today,” and listed a contact phone number and website. Security Director Steve Leonard said they may have been a recruiting tool for the organization.
These exact fliers — with the same design, wording and information — were found in driveways along one street in Cinnaminson, New Jersey, Tuesday.
Similar fliers were also found in Bloomington last week.
Leonard said there’s “no reason” to think the fliers were distributed by someone locally in Franklin or were targeting any particular person.
“We just don’t have any information that would make us think it’s connected to someone on campus or in the community,” he said.
In an all-campus email sent by President Thomas Minar, Minar said the college values its commitment to a diverse and inclusive campus environment that respects all members.
“This institution will not tolerate behaviors of racism, prejudice or discrimination on its campus and remains committed to upholding an environment where all feel welcomed and valued,” he said in the email.
Leonard said faculty, staff and students should follow the “see something, say something” philosophy with reporting racist or otherwise inappropriate actions, signage or language that violates the college’s nondiscrimination policies.
Minar encouraged campus community members who are aware of violations to contact Ellis Hall, vice president and dean of students.
At the time of publication, no one had been identified as a person of interest for placing the fliers on campus.