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LUMBERTON, Miss. (AP) - The man who integrated the University of Mississippi in 1962 says the recent desecration of a statue of him should not deter black students from attending Ole Miss.

James Meredith says it was "foolish" for anyone to leave a noose and an old Georgia state flag with a prominent Confederate emblem on the statue. The items were found Feb. 16 on the Oxford campus.

Three freshmen from Georgia have been kicked out of their fraternity and could face university punishment.

WDAM-TV reports ( http://bit.ly/1dMWpcX) Meredith spoke Friday at a black history program in Lumberton, Miss. He said: "Teenagers have been committing pranks and doing foolish things forever, and blacks will be out of their minds if they were planning on going to Ole Miss and let this distraction turn them away."


(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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