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District to discipline 2 students in connection with racist messages found at Prior Lake High School

Prior Lake High racism: What an outside investigation uncovered
Prior Lake High racism: What an outside investigation uncovered 02:08

SAVAGE, Minn. -- Two students will face consequences after an investigation into racist messages at a Twin Cities school.

One was found in a girls' basketball player's gym bag, and the other on a bathroom mirror last winter at Prior Lake High School. It led to the team ending its season early and the team's coach resigning.

The 14-page investigation report, led by an outside law firm, is heavily redacted due to student privacy. But what it does reveal is that a forensic handwriting expert was used to help identify who wrote the racist messages.

"I'm glad that it was addressed, I'm glad that we brought in a third party and that we really did take it seriously," said district parent Ashley Thomas.

Six months after the racist incidents, parents like Ashley Thomas are trying to move forward by addressing the past. Thomas co-founded the nonprofit Passionately & Actively Creating Change after the incidents last school year. This past weekend they held an event to promote anti-racism and inclusivity in the district.  


"We can have these events, we can discuss it in other areas, but it really has to be engrained at home as well," Thomas said.

The district says they've taken steps to change the culture, including creating a student advisory group, hosting a global festival and painting a unity mural.

In a statement, Superintendent Michael Thomas said in part: "We remain committed to providing a more inclusive and equitable learning experience for each and every student and staff member. As we near the start of a new school year, we look forward to continued collaboration to help ensure a safe environment for all learners."

"I hope that next steps can really be bigger, and I hope that the parents can get behind it, our community can get behind it and ... not have these situations anymore," Thomas said.

The district did not say what disciplinary actions the students would face.

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