Mount Pleasant — There will be no criminal charges filed against the woman who distributed a Valentine’s Day card that mocked Jews during a student organization meeting at Central Michigan University.
School officials said Friday that the Isabella County Prosecutor’s Office concluded that it wasn’t a criminal act.
“It becomes an issue of free speech,” said Carolyn Dunn, associate vice president for the Office for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion.
Dunn said her office and the Office for Civil Rights and Institutional Equity wrapped up the investigation into the incident on Friday.
The College Republicans group handed out gift bags to students Wednesday night, including one with a card that said “my love 4 u burns like 6,000 jews.” It had a photo of Adolf Hitler and was signed “XOXO, Courtney.”
Dunn said the investigation revealed that the woman who created the cards was not a student at the university, however she is friends with members of the College Republicans.
Dunn said she knew the woman’s first name was Courtney but could not confirm her last name.
The woman lives in the Mount Pleasant area and attends another institution, Dunn said.
Officials say there is no indication that student members of the College Republicans were involved in creating the cards.
The College Republican group apologized on Facebook, saying it doesn’t condone anti-Semitism and that the card was made and placed in the bag without the group’s knowledge.
Dunn said her office will now require the College Republican group to take training that teaches the difference between free speech and hate speech.
CMU president George E. Ross released a statement Thursday condemning the cards saying the language was “unacceptable and is not consistent with our values and standards.”
“We caution against concluding that the action is representative of the entire student organization or its members and remind all that threatening others as a result of such an incident can have legal consequences,” Ross said in a statement.
Several users swarmed the College Republicans Facebook page, responding to the group’s apology with words such as “deplorable,” “shameful,” and “disgraceful.”
Earlier Friday, the Simon Wiesenthal Center was urging the university to expel the student who created the cards. The center released a statement before the university announced that the woman was not a student.
“It’s not enough that the Republican club has apologized,” Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, dean and associate dean of the center, said in a statement. “The bigot or bigots who produced and distributed the hatred across the campus mocking the 6 million Jews murdered during the Nazi Holocaust should be expelled.”
Associated Press contributed.