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University of Pennsylvania investigating 'repugnant' racist cyberbullying

University of Pennsylvania
Ann Hermes | The Christian Science Monitor | Getty Images
University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is investigating an episode of racist cyberbullying, after a group of black freshman students were added to a messaging group where they were attacked with racial slurs.

An Oklahoma-based GroupMe account added the Ivy League students to a messaging thread containing "violent, racist and thoroughly disgusting images and messages," the university said in a statement. Staff at Penn, along with police, are trying to locate the exact source, determine if they can block the account and take "every step possible" to support the affected students, a statement said.

The university did not disclose the exact content of the messages, but it may have referenced lynching and featured users called "Daddy Trump," local publication Philly.com reported. President-elect Donald Trump is an alumnus of Penn's Wharton School of Business.

CNBC has reached out to the university and the Trump campaign.

University officials called the attacks "deplorable," "repugnant," and "reprehensible."

"The racism of this GroupMe message is profoundly inimical to what we stand for as a university," the statement said. "We will take every step possible to counteract its appalling bias."