Two Penn State students pictured on the Internet dressed as victims of the Virginia Tech massacre were rebuked by their university this week but won’t face disciplinary action, officials said.
Pictures of the students in a Halloween costume of Virginia Tech shirts covered in bullet holes and fake blood were posted on Facebook.com, the social networking site. Penn State condemned the actions in a letter sent to Virginia Tech officials.
“We’re appalled that these individuals would display this level of insensitivity and lack of common decency by dressing up in this manner,” the statement said. “The fact that one of the individuals is actually from Virginia makes it even more difficult to understand.”
A Penn State spokeswoman, Lisa Powers, said the school has identified the students in the photos, but would not release their names.
The students will not face university discipline, Powers said. Punishment would violate their free-speech rights, she added.
Penn State students were among many across the country who raised money and held memorial services to commemorate the victims of the April 16 shootings, in which Virginia Tech student Seung-Hui Cho fatally shot 32 people before killing himself. The rampage caused universities nationwide to re-evaluate their emergency response plans.