White Bear Lake students hold walkout over racist social media comments

School officials are investigating the anonymous Instagram account.
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White Bear Lake Area High School

School officials are investigating a social media incident that led to a protest among the students at White Bear Lake Area High School.

The walkout happened Friday morning, following reports of an online group chat in which "racist, hateful, threatening, and unacceptable" comments were directed at the school's students of color.

According to emails shared with BringMeTheNews by a district spokesperson, the messages in question, which "resulted in students not feeling safe at school," involved an "an anonymous instagram account."

"Please know that an investigation is underway to determine who is behind these deplorable, racist social media posts," reads an email from the principals of both high school campuses. "We are working closely with our partners in law enforcement to determine as quickly as possible who is responsible."

According to KSTP, a number of Black students — including members of the school's Black Excellence Club — were invited to the chat, where they were called racist names and subjected to threats, with phrases like "get hanged" and "That's why George Floyd died can't wait until everyone your color leaves like that," among others.

The station says the White Bear Lake Police Department is investigating the comments, "which could range from disorderly conduct to terroristic threats."

As WCCO notes, this is the school's second racist incident in recent days, with signs for the aforementioned Black Excellence Club having been "torn down and destroyed."

"We stand united in our commitment to ensure a safe, respectful environment for our students, and racism and racist behavior will not be tolerated," reads an email from White Bear Lake Area High School to parents. 

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