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UPDATE: Duke: Student has admitted to hanging noose in tree - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

UPDATE: Duke: Student has admitted to hanging noose in tree

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DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - An undergraduate student at Duke University has admitted to hanging a noose in a tree and is no longer on campus, university officials said Thursday.

At a news conference Thursday afternoon, school spokesman Michael Schoenfeld said the school would not release the name of the student who admitted to hanging the noose, found early Wednesday in a plaza area at the heart of the campus.

The student was identified with information provided by other students and will be subject to Duke's student conduct process and that an investigation is continuing to find out if others were involved, Schoenfeld said.

Schoenfeld said the school believes federal education laws protecting information about students and their grades prevent the school from describing his or her gender, race or whether the student had been in trouble in the past.

The school also is working with state and federal officials about potential criminal violations.

Officials say the noose was found about 2 a.m. Wednesday in the plaza outside the Bryan Center, the student commons building. Black Student Alliance vice president Henry Washington said he and about 14 other students saw the noose hanging overnight after being alerted via Twitter. On Thursday, he praised the reaction of fellow students and administrators at the school.

"I appreciate that immediate action was taken both by the student community to identify a person and by the faculty to ensure that disciplinary action is taken," he said.

Duke Student Affairs Vice President Larry Moneta said the student would face judgment under the school's code of conduct, which includes penalties ranging from probation to expulsion. He said it was "too soon to make any comment" about whether the student had expressed remorse for the noose episode.

"This is all part of what the investigation will yield and the opportunity for the student to speak to the basis for the behavior," Moneta said.

At a gathering Wednesday in front of the university's Gothic chapel building, Duke President Richard Brodhead told a crowd of several thousand that their presence was a rejection of what the noose symbolizes in a region where lynchings were once used to terrorize black residents. And he said that while administrators and campus police investigate who displayed the noose and why, it is up to each individual to reject racism.

"One person put up that noose, but this is the multitude of people who got together to say that's not the Duke we want," he told the crowd. "That's not the Duke we're here for, and that's not the Duke we're here to create."

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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