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Board members walked out of a meeting Monday night that was geared towards addressing racism at Prior Lake–Savage Area Schools, after they were addressed by students and an activist angered by a viral video that depicted the targeting of a student of color with racial slurs.

The board was holding the meeting in the wake of the scandal that has embroiled the school district, after a video showed two female students spouting racial slurs — including the n-word — towards a student of color later identified as 14-year-old Nya Sigin, while also suggesting Sigin take her own life.

The board was listening to speakers when a man — identified by the Star Tribune as Lavish Mack — interrupted and began yelling and cursing at the board, prompting the school leaders to abruptly recess and leave the room before they could get to the main agenda.

"I was going to enter this room with a blow horn and I wasn't going to listen to anything you had to say," Mack stated, with a board member heard telling him that they have to follow the meeting agenda. Mack recognized that he was not "invited to speak" but planned on taking "more than three minutes," telling the board that "you will hear me." 

"I'm not here to talk about equity or equality and diversity, I'm here to demand that the school takes accountability," he said, then abruptly raising his voice and shouting, "in the light of an international scandal! You all need to make a decision! In the light of an international scandal! You all need to make a god-damned decision!"

When Mack repeated that the board needs to make a "f****** decision," the majority of the board walked out, though some of the members returned and listened to Mack a bit longer. 

The board walked away again, with the exception of the only person of color on the board, when a Black female student, speaking after Mack, accused district staff members and students of "saying the n-word." 

"It's sick. It's a travesty," the student, a junior, said.

"I never knew what racism was till I became a Laker. I have been called so many racial slurs, spit on, discriminated against, and had things thrown at me all because of the color of my skin," she continued. "When I went to the middle school, Twin Oaks, there was a Confederate flag that greeted me outside the school every day."

The school board returned once again to close the meeting, when a visibly upset Elizabeth Sigin, the sister of Nya, approached them and shouted: "You do not listen to anything we have to say.

"Every day we have to struggle and you can just walk out of the room and not see what we have to go through."

"You all are white and you all raise racist children ... you do not care about any of us in this room, and I hope every day that your children feel what we feel ... and go through everything we have to go through."

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There were other students past and present who spoke out at the meeting, describing their experiences of racism while attending the school.

Nya Sigin's older brother, Luke Sigin, who is a graduate of Prior Lake High School, expressed sadness and concern that his younger sisters are dealing with racism on a daily basis.

"It hurt me so much knowing that my sisters have been going to school dealing with this stuff," he said. "She deals with this on a [regular] basis and yet nothing happens until a video goes viral online. That is so sad." 

And a member of the Prior Lake Black Student Union told the board members: "We would love for any support to be given, especially regarding Prior Lake High School students. We should not be dealing with racial issues at this age, especially during these supposed modern times."

District Superintendent Teri Staloch began the meeting by saying they are "listening to the voices and the needs of our students," while condemning the racist video. 

Staloch said the student who could be seen in the viral video is no longer in the district — though it's not clear whether this was the result of any enforcement action or because she left. There was no update as to the status of the second student, who could be heard but not seen in the video.

"Regarding the student seen in the video. that student is no longer enrolled in Prior Lake Savage Area Schools," said Staloch. "Per data privacy laws, we cannot share any details about the district's investigation or identify actions the district has taken to address student conduct as a result of its investigation."

The Savage Police Department continues to investigate the incident, according to Staloch. 

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