Updated: April 13, 2021 08:16 PM
Created: April 13, 2021 08:10 PM
The superintendent for White Bear Lake Area Schools says racist and threatening messages sent to students of color over social media were a hoax.
The messages triggered a walkout last week at White Bear Lake High School's South Campus.
According to Superintendent Wayne Kazmierczak, a student admitted to creating a fake Instagram account and sending messages to other students.
Kazmierczak said the student who sent the posts "poses no threat to our students of color."
Below is the entire statement Kazmierczak issued at a school board meeting Monday night:
In recent days our students, staff and community have been working through strong emotions brought forth by racist, hateful and threatening messages that were sent anonymously to several of our students of color. Our students have felt anger and disgust, and they have taken action in the face of the injustice against their fellow students. At the onset, we are committed to disrupting racism and systemic racism. Hate has no place in our schools or community.
Over the last week, we have worked with the FBI and local law enforcement, who investigated the racist, hateful, and threatening messages that were sent to several of our students of color from an anonymous Instagram account. The messages have caused great pain to our students and caused a material and substantial disruption in our school.
This afternoon, a young person took responsibility for posting hateful messages on social media. While we are working to learn more about the motives behind this action, we understand that race is at the center of this incident and any use of hateful language against another student is unacceptable and won't be tolerated. Our anger around racist acts and bullying remain critical to our work as parents, educators and community.
We are united in supporting our students in speaking against racism and in support of our students of color over these past few days and will continue to work toward ensuring that White Bear Lake Area Schools is a community that advances racial equity and inclusion. We know from listening to our students that our continued and sustained commitment to educational equity is a critical part of how we achieve our stated district mission and close gaps that currently exist in our student outcome measures.
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