The principal of Prior Lake High School and the district superintendent said they were investigating a racist video that was shared by two white students targeting a 14-year-old black classmate, repeatedly using the N-word and urging the freshman to commit suicide.
Principal John Bezek confirmed in a statement that the "serious and disturbing racist video" was posted by a student and the school has launched an investigation into those involved.
"Racist messages like the one in the video create an environment that is hostile to learning," Bezek wrote in a letter to staff and families. "I want to assure students and staff that we are committed to their safety and emotional well-being."
Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools Superintendent Teri Staloch echoed Bezek's message in her own statement and promised "swift and appropriate action" against those involved. "This is something that impacts all of us in the community and we recognize the pain and hurt that is a result," Staloch wrote.
'Cut Deep Enough This Time or Tie the Rope Higher'
In the video, the student repeatedly uses the N-word and refers to her as a "dark chocolate bar" while encouraging the black teenager to kill herself while another student can be heard laughing in the background.
"You are so f--king dark," the student says in the video. "You can fâking rot in hell. You dark a-s [n-word]."
"Dark a-s chocolate bar, get the fâk outta here," the student continues before urging the suicidal who has reportedly attempted suicide in the past to "kill yourself right this time."
"Cut deep enough this time or fâcking tie the rope higher," the student says in the video. The student was later identified as Jaelyn Crooks while her friend who is not visible on camera was identified as Jayden Kwley.
The girl targeted by the video, Nya Sigin, spoke outside the high school on Thursday afternoon. "It's disgusting. It needs to stop. Now," she said, adding she was grateful for the support she's received since the video surfaced on social media.
Hundreds of students showed up outside the school on Thursday to protest against the video. A GoFundMe was also been set up for Sigin and has raised nearly $117,000. The organizer of the fund says Nya has been in an ongoing battle with racism and mental health for a while now, and that the money will be used to support the teen and her family and start a college fund.
In Minnesota, it is against the law to encourage someone to take their own life or encourage someone to attempt to take their own life. However, it is not yet known whether Crooks and Kwley will face charges over the video.