Law enforcement officials have charged an Ohio University student, Anna Ayers, with three counts of making false alarms, according to the Post.

Ayers, who has pleaded not guilty, made headlines after she claimed to have received three threatening, anti-gay letters. Ayers said she was targeted at the Student Senate office, where she served at the time as the commissioner of the Senate Appropriations Commission, and at her student residence.

But police now believe Ayers placed the threatening messages herself. Ayers, a senior studying journalism (ahem), resigned from the Student Senate a day after she was arrested and charged.

Prior to her arrest, the Ohio University student made a big show of her story, going so far as to condemn her supposed tormentors publicly.

"Senate will never be the same for me," she said a student gathering. "The friendships will continue to grow, and our successes will always evoke pride, but the memory of my time in senate and at OU will be marred by this experience. We will all have a memory of a time when this body failed one of its own."

Ayers added in reference to the person or persons she claimed sent her the letters, "You may find me revolting and worthy of a threat on my life, but in reality, it is your beliefs that are repulsive. You need to get this through your head, you fucking asshole: I am proud to be who I am, and nothing you could say or do will ever change that."

A false alarm charge is a first-degree misdemeanor, the Post notes. Each charge “carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.”

We’ve been down this road before. Hate crime and other discrimination hoaxes are a part of a maddeningly persistent trend. In July, for example, a server in Odessa, Texas, claimed that a customer not only stiffed him on a $108 tab, but that they also wrote “We don’t tip terrorist” on the bill. He admitted later that he had lied and made the whole thing up.

Earlier, in 2017, a Virginia waitress claimed a table left her a note that read, "Great service, don’t tip black people.” Her story is almost certainly a lie.

In 2016, a then-North Park University student alleged she received threatening, slur-riddled notes mentioning President-elect Trump. School officials announced later that she had fabricated the entire story. That same year, a Muslim student at the University of Louisiana claimed two white men wearing Trump hats tore off her hijab and stole her wallet the day after Trump won the 2016 election. She admitted later that she had made up the story.

Earlier, in 2013, an Oberlin College student admitted to planting a Nazi flag on campus and placing a "whites only" sign above a drinking fountain specifically to "get an overreaction."

Also in 2013, a waitress claimed a table left her a note reading, "Sorry, I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle and the way you live your life." It was a lie.

In 2011, a lesbian couple in Colorado claimed someone had spray-painted "Kill the Gay" on their garage door. The vandals also reportedly left a noose on the couple's door. The FBI determined later that the couple had spray-painted the message themselves. They were charged with criminal mischief and false reporting.

This isn't an exhaustive list — don't forget the classic Whole Foods cake hoax and a host of others.

What I don't understand is: Do these people not understand the harm they're doing to their respective communities? When real discrimination comes knocking, don’t blame the general public for not taking it seriously.