Police say college student wrote racial slurs on his own dorm-room door

October 27, 1998|By Donna R. Engle | Donna R. Engle,SUN STAFF

A Western Maryland College student who claimed to be a victim of racial slurs -- scrawled on the doors of two dormitory rooms -- wrote them himself, Westminster police said yesterday.

No charges will be filed against Kenneth M. Carter III, 18, a freshman from Baltimore, said Lt. Dean Brewer of the Westminster city police. Carter will face the college's disciplinary process, Brewer said.

Carter left campus with his parents yesterday afternoon, according to friends. He could not be reached for comment.

College officials were unavailable for comment yesterday.

Racial slurs were written on Carter's door Thursday, Friday and yesterday, incidents that prompted college officials to send voice-mail warnings to all students that racism would not be tolerated.

A second black student was the target of a slur on his door yesterday.

Marcus Helton, 18, a freshman from Covington, Va., was visibly upset as he described returning from morning classes to find a racial threat scrawled in felt-tipped pen on his door. Helton, who lives in the same dorm as Carter, shares a room with two white students.

"I don't know, I'm all confused. I'm not scared, but the fact that someone threatened my life, that doesn't make any sense," Helton said.

Helton, a wide receiver for the school's football team, said he hasn't been the target of any racist remarks from other players or the wider campus community. He said Coach Tim Keating made it clear that racism had no place on the team.

Kash Wright, 21, a senior from Lanham and president of the 50-member Black Student Union, said he hasn't encountered any racist incidents at the school, where about 9 percent of the 1,482 undergraduate students are minorities.

He said the college has maintained a commitment to diversity and multiculturalism.

But the overwhelmingly white population surrounding the college -- Carroll County's minority population is about 5 percent -- creates culture shock, Wright said.

"A lot of minority students are coming in from urban areas. You come here and it's very rural and your options [for associating with peers] are limited," Wright said. "You also have white students coming from very rural areas and it's a cultural shock to them when they find out that no, not all black students listen to rap music."

Pub Date: 10/27/98

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