Iconic rock at Youngstown State defaced with ISIS graffiti

A rock located outside the Kilcawley Center at Youngstown State University – an iconic symbol of the school – was defaced early Monday morning by messages of support for the Islamic State.

University maintenance workers discovered the graffiti in the early morning and immediately painted the rock white.  But that wasn't good enough for some students, who made plans to defiantly paint an American flag on the rock.

YSU senior Jordan Wolfe organized the Facebook page to repaint the rock with an American flag after discovering the rock had been defaced overnight with pro-ISIS messages.

Wolfe, a Boardman native and political science major, said the effort is to show what YSU is really about rather than the messages from this morning. 

He also said he spoke to an international student who said the Arabic written this morning was misspelled.

“We are coming,” “France Deserves Destruction” and “YSU supports ISIS” were painted on the rock between Sunday night and this morning.

University crews painted over the messages this morning with white paint shortly after discovering it.

About 30 YSU students gathered around the rock this afternoon to repaint it with pro-American messages. "God Bless America," "Land of the Free" and the American flag were spray painted by the students.

Shannon Tirone, associate vice president for university relations, said campus police have reached out to other law enforcement agencies including the FBI regarding the vandalism.

“Unfortunately, this is the world we live in today,” she said.

The university issued a campus alert this morning, informing students and the campus about the incident. It urges anyone with knowledge about the incident to contact campus police at 330-941-3527.

The university said the threat isn’t believed to be credible.

Special Agent Todd Werth. who leads the Youngstown FBI office, said the agency takes such matters seriously but that “at this point, there is no specific, credible threat to Youngstown State or the Youngstown area.”

YSU students checking out the rock at about noon expressed both anger and fear about the vandalism.

With all the nonsense on college campuses these days, it's refreshing to find a bunch of kids with their heads screwed on right and their hearts in the right place.  The is exactly the right response to those who defaced the symbol of the school in the first place.  I doubt whether they were connected to ISIS or even support their aims.  It is likely they were some kids who thought it might be funny to scare people.

Luckily, the students at YSU are made of sterner stuff than those on other campuses.  No doubt there would have been protests about the school's maintenance staff covering up the message with white paint at some schools.  There would have been calls to expel the students who painted patriotic slogans and the American flag on the rock, because support for America is racist and causes pain.

No such idiocy at YSU.  And that gives me a tiny bit of hope that some day, the pendulum will swing back toward sanity, and schools will once again become centers of learning rather than bastions of political correctness.

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