Hate fliers telling members of the LGBTQ community to commit suicide were posted on the Cleveland State University campus on the same day it opened its first LGBT center.
The fliers include incorrect suicide statistics and say, “Fascist Solutions” on the bottom. Another flier posted next to it appears to be a white supremacist flier.
“Follow your fellow faggots,” it reads at top, in rainbow letters, inciting a community that already suffers from higher than average rates of depression, self-harm, and suicide to kill themselves.
“The coercion of someone attempting to take their own life, there is no humor in that. There will never be humor in that. There is nothing funny about death,” said Eris Eady with the LGBT Center of Greater Cleveland.
The Queer Student Alliance said school officials had taken the fliers down and were looking into was responsible.
The university released the following statement:
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
At Cleveland State University, our foremost priority is maintaining a welcoming environment that provide opportunities for learning, expression and discourse.
CSU remains fully committed to a campus community that respects all individuals, regardless of age, race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation and other historical bases for discrimination.
CSU also is committed to upholding the First Amendment, even with regard to controversial issues where opinion is divided. We will continue to protect free speech to ensure all voices may be heard and to promoste a civil discourse where educational growth is the desired result.
Be assured that a spirit of inclusiveness will always be central to the very identity of our University.
Ronald M. Berkman, President of Cleveland State University
Students and alumni are speaking out on social media, criticizing Berkman’s response.
— Mary Margaret. ? (@MaryxMargaret) October 17, 2017
I love that these photos went up at my university Cleveland State University& the President's response was to say "First amendment rights" pic.twitter.com/0pu0tspRnh
— (((Elizabeth))) (@SoSayWeAll777) October 16, 2017
— JulieHarden☮ (@JulieHarden) October 18, 2017
Conservative group Turning Point USA has been blamed by some for posting the flier, but has denied this accusation.
The flier encouraging suicide was also found at a bus station in Houston earlier this year.