Prior Lake high school student targeted in the racist video speaks out as a community in the south metro is on edge this week because of a viral video showing a student at Prior Lake High School using the “N-word” to harass a Black student.
Racist video Against the Prior Lake High School Student Nya Sigin – Police investigating the racial Attack:
Sigin, a 14-year-old student at Prior Lake High School, subsequently came forward as the target of the video.
Her sister, Elizabeth Sigin, a senior at the high school, posted on Instagram about the video on Wednesday, saying Nya had attempted suicide in May and has worked hard to overcome her struggles.
“I’m at a loss of words for what they’ve done,” Prior Lake High School freshman Nya Sigin told on Wednesday.
Nya says she is grateful for a flow of support from classmates, but she wants the school to take action against those involved, so she can feel safe continuing to attend District #719.
“Nobody is going to forget what this girl said about my sister,” Nya’s sister and Prior Lake senior Elizabeth Sigin said.
The conflict started after Elizabeth and Nya say a girl at the school recorded a disturbing video attacking a pillow with the “N-word” written on it.
“She beat up the pillow while calling the pillow racial slurs, pretending as if the pillow was a Black person,” Elizabeth said.
The racist video was posted to social media Monday, Nov. 8, and was shared widely Tuesday on Instagram and TikTok, as well as throughout school districts in Minnesota and nationally, getting the attention of civil rights activist Shaun King among others.
After a student posted racists videos online, students at Prior Lake High School are holding a protest in support of their classmate Nya Sigin. See their story tonight at 5pm on @fox9 and 7pm on FOX9plus.. @LeahBenoFox9 pic.twitter.com/E9WW9dGYYK
— Russ Weseman (@RWesemanKMSP) November 11, 2021
The viral video prominently features a female student on screen, as well as the voice of another student coming from offscreen.
Both are spouting racial slurs (the n-word among them) and suggesting a student of colour, later identified as Nya Sigin, take her own life, all while laughing.
Protest held in support of Prior Lake High School student targeted in the racist video:
Students show support for Prior Lake teen-targeted in the racist video:
Prior Lake High School racist video: Support for Nya Sigin.
Students and activists gathered at Prior Lake High School Thursday afternoon to demand justice for a student who was the subject of a racist video posted by her classmate.
The rally gathered outside the school shortly after classes ended for the day. School leaders had cancelled classes early on Thursday, ahead of the protest, citing safety concerns.
Students say the viral video isn’t an isolated incident. They are calling on the school district to penalize the two students involved in the video so they can feel safe at school.
The youth-led protest was planned for 2 p.m. outside of the school, but school officials made the decision to end the school day at 12:45 p.m. to help ensure students remain safe, a letter to parents said. There is already no school on Friday as it is the end of the quarter, the school calendar shows.
Organizers moved up the time of the protest to coincide with the end of the school day.
A Livestream from the protest showed a crowd of students, some holding signs, outside the high school before 1 p.m. dancing to music to show their support for Nya, demand the students involved in the video be disciplined, and encouraging people to call out others’ racism to stop the injustice against people of colour.
After the sisters drew attention to that video, they say more videos were made, this time directed at them.
The viral video encourages Nya to commit suicide, only months after she was released from an inpatient hospital after struggles with her mental health.
“To think that they could even say such things about another human being, it’s beyond me,” Nya said.
“It makes it ten times harder to succeed in such a terrible environment where you feel like you’re not loved by your community,” Elizabeth continued.
Prior to Lake High School senior Elizabeth Sigin and freshman Nya Sigin School and law enforcement officials are investigating the situation after the video targeting Nya was shared widely online.
Protest outside Prior Lake High attracts hundreds outraged by the racist video:
The Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools District and the Savage Police Department said they’re investigating the video and Superintendent Dr Teri Staloch has promised the district will take “swift” and “appropriate” action.
In a letter to parents on Wednesday, the school says its counsellors, staff, and administrators continue to create extra space for students to talk about the horrific racist video. But for the Sigin family, that is not enough.
During an afternoon news conference, Staloch said they can’t divulge whether the students in the vide have been suspended or not.
“Our immediate concern is the health and well-being of our students. We take the ramifications of the video very seriously and know there is much we can continue to do in the days, weeks and months ahead to ensure we are making our school a safe and respectful place.
“The investigation of this student’s actions remains underway. Due to data privacy, we are not able to share additional details.”
A Go Fund Me page has also been created for a college fund for Nya and to “help and support her and her family with whatever they need.” In the first 16 hours, it had raised more than $73,000.
“They feel safe and comfortable to continue to do these things because they do not get punished at school, and they do not get punished at home,” Elizabeth said.
Racist video at Prior Lake High School Investigations- The Savage Police Department:
The Savage Police Department says its detectives are now working with the school to thoroughly investigate the matter. In Minnesota, it is against the law to encourage someone to commit suicide.
Police say an investigation into the racist video at Prior Lake High School is ongoing.
Police Chief Rodney Seurer said investigators are still working to determine exactly when and where the video was created. He said the Scott County Attorney’s Office is involved, and it’s possible more than one person would end up facing criminal charges.
Seurer said nobody was arrested during Thursday’s protests.
He also confirmed there have been threats made toward family members of the girls in the now widely seen video.
Community responds after racist video by Prior Lake student:
Meanwhile, on Wednesday the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community admitted the video involves a minor from its community while condemning the comments that were made.
In the days since the racist video went viral, students said racism is an ongoing issue at the school but incidents are often pushed to the side, stressing students need to be held accountable.
Students find the video horrific. The casual use of racist language is shocking. The encouragement of suicide provokes a visceral reaction as many students have had family and friends struggle with mental health or in some cases die of suicide.
— Mr. Wagner (@PriorLakeAPWH) November 11, 2021
Current and former students also shared stories of racism in the district, including being called racial slurs, during Thursday’s protest. Some students shared stories of getting in trouble for calling out others for racist comments or actions, and the district protecting those who are called racist.
“I really can’t imagine what the next four years are going to look like, and it scares me. It really does scare me to have to go through this,” Nya said. “No one should ever have to go through this, especially regarding the colour of their skin.”
People Respond to the Prior High School Video:
Benny Ford Class of 2021 from Prior Lake High School, also on Prior Lake High School Student Council, decided to be insensitive and racist this on beautiful #BlackOutTuesday pic.twitter.com/dsTnH4P9LX
— zepsayy 🤯💕 (@zepsayy) June 3, 2020
Those in the back of the room, this is Jaelyn Crooks, she goes to Prior Lake High School in Minnesota. She was reported multiple times over harassing a black student who was suicidal and the school did nothing except for issue a piss poor email. Make them famous.
— Tony K. (@Chaosinflux) November 10, 2021
Alright twitter do your thing !! This girl made a racist video and used racial slurs talking about black people and a specific girl at her highschool ✌🏻👍🏻 . She attends prior lake highschool in minnesota pic.twitter.com/tf68UwXWy3
— Vic 💕🤗 (@victoria11797) November 10, 2021
The school.. Prior Lake high👇🏾👇🏾 pic.twitter.com/qAuX5zx6oL
— J- 🌎✨ (@MajorFactor2) November 11, 2021
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