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Bethany President: Love Conquers Hate

KSAL Staff - September 22, 2016 3:29 pm

bethany college

Bethany College President William Jones used a Facebook post last week to describe the struggle he was facing as a father and Christian after racists messages targeted his family and students at the school located in Lindsborg.

On Thursday Jones joined in the KSAL Morning News with a look back at the events he said felt like a punch in the gut.

“I had washed the feet of one of our students on our stage to demonstrate my commitment to my faith as a Christian and my commitment to serving our students. Then to have something like this happen it was supremely disturbing,” Jones said.

Jones said the writings were discovered on September 3 and included the chalk outline of a body with the inscription, “Rest in peace my friend.”

A phone call to Jones’ office at Bethany revealed more to the motive.

The person told Jones in the first 10-seconds of their conversation he was responsible for the chalking, “He was definitely relishing in what he called ‘activism,'” Jones said.

“This is not activism, this is hate.”

Jones added the person told him the group took action because of his two biracial children who are adopted and Bethany’s recruitment of students of color.

“The folks who did this, they’re not from Lindsborg … and they’re looking to create division,” he said.

Although Jones has not made the names of those who may be responsible known to the public, he says they have had conversations with multiple levels of law enforcement.

“Bethany College and the Jones family continue to pursue prosecution at the highest level possible, and Bethany College both criminally and civilly will pursue this to the end,” Jones said.

Jones added the community of Lindsborg has embraced his family.

“It’s a wonderful place for families and for children. It’s like stepping back in time in many ways, in terms of how folks are so neighborly, caring and watch out for each other,” he said.

“Bethany College sits in that environment and I am confident that we are a very, very safe place.”

City of Salina