April 19, 2016 12:02 PM EDT

Austin Peay State University is looking into where six rainbow-colored nooses found on the school’s campus Monday came from. University president Alisa White called them “deeply disturbing” in a statement posted to the Tennessee school’s Facebook page.

The nooses were found near the building where most of the school’s art classes are held. The school removed them after several people complained.

“This incident is deeply disturbing and is hurtful to our University community,” White said in the statement. “Regardless of the intent, the display has no place on our campus. I am saddened, and I am sorry for the hurt and offense this has caused and want our students, faculty and staff to know that it will not be tolerated.”

Several students and organizations posted pictures of the nooses online and expressed concerns over the hate speech they might represent.

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Write to Eliana Dockterman at eliana.dockterman@time.com.

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