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Protesters Gather Outside Prior Lake H.S. In Response To Racist Social Media Video Posted By Student

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Students rallied at Prior Lake High School Thusrday afternoon, in response to a racist video posted on social media.

The video, which has spread on social media, appears to show a Prior Lake female student using the slur "n*****" and making other racist comments towards a Black student, and also encouraging the girl to take her own life.

"Honestly, it's crazy. The support is unimaginable. It's crazy," said ninth-grader Nya Sigin.

Sigin said the racist video was targeted at her. She said it was a shock watching another girl call her racial slurs, and at one point even encouraging her to take her own life.

Backlash from the video caused school administrators to dismiss students early on Thursday, which led to a rally in the parking lot.

"Black people, People of Color, we need to feel safe and we need to feel loved in our communities. We are going to make sure that happens for our future generations," said Nya's sister, Elizabeth Sigin.

Prior Lake Protest and Rally 111121_14-00-58,00
(credit: CBS)

"This really shows how much power we have as a community to make real change. And this starts with us, right here. We're going to do this," Nya Sigin said.

At the rally, students took turns speaking about other racism they've experienced and they urged the school district to do more.

The girl who made the video is a tribal member. The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community issued a statement, saying they condemn the video.

"Late Monday evening I was advised of a horrific, hateful, racist video," Savage Police Chief Rodney Seurer said.

Seurer said his department has been investigating all week but can't comment on potential charges. School administrators said they also won't comment on potential discipline during the investigation, but they said they look forward to working with students for change.

"Nobody wants a racist video in their community," Dr. Teri Staloch, superintendent for Prior Lake-Savage Schools, said. "What I hope collectively everyone in this room is concerned about is the impact on our students, and how together continue to embrace, share and listen and elevate their voices to hear what they need."

Prior Lake Mayor Kirt Briggs said the racist video is "painful and disturbing to all."

"The video does not reflect the values of our Prior Lake community. And yet, we must acknowledge that it originated here, and that there is still important work that needs to be done," the mayor said, in a statement. "We need to advance open conversations on racism to better understand one another and our experiences. This is the only way to create a path forward to strengthen and unite us."

Police said threats made towards family members of the girls who posted the video are also being investigated.

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