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Common Dreams

Minority Students 'Bleach-Bombed' at University of Texas

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Common Dreams staff

Student Jaysen Runnels, right, said he was targeted twice by balloons containing what he believes to be bleach. At least four students filed complaints saying they were "bleach-bombed" on campus. (Photo: KVUE)

Students at the University of Texas at Austin protested Tuesday after four minority students filed complaints with university police saying they had been attacked with bleach-filled ballons in college housing off campus between June and September.

African-American student Jaysen Runnels told local ABC affiliate KVUE that on two occasions, bleach-filled balloons were dropped from high-rise buildings "and barely missed" he and his roommate.

"It really gets to me that this is happening," student Nia Wesley told KVUE. "It seems like they are trying to white wash because the only students who have reported it have been black or Mexican."

Reporting for The Horn, the student newspaper, Cody R. Permenter wrote that Dean of Students Soncia Reagins-Lilly said of the protest, "On one hand it is very troubling and unfortunate that these reported incidents have occurred; however, it is beautiful and powerful to see our community come together and voice their concerns."

UT Police Chief Robert Dahlstrom told The Telegraph that while police had heard rumors of the incidents, no reports were filed until he found postings on Facebook.

"Police have been unable to confirm if the rubber projectiles were filled with bleach, or if the alleged attacks were indeed racially motivated, but the investigation into the matter continues," according to The Daily Mail.

Several predominantly white fraternities at the school recently organized parties at which guests wore clothing stereotypical of minority groups, such as one at where revelers wore shirts bearing the words "illegal" and "border patrol, The Daily Mail reported.

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