*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.
Following the circulation of a series of racist and disturbing videos—including one encouraging a young Black girl to commit suicide—the Savage Police Department opened an investigation at Minnesota's Prior Lake High School.
FOX 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul Reported on the horrifying ordeal.
The conflict began after sisters Elizabeth and Naya Sigin reported a female student at Prior Lake High School recorded a video in which she attacked a pillow with the N-word written on it.
Elizabeth recounted the story to Fox 9's Babs Santos:
"She beat up the pillow while calling the pillow racial slurs, pretending as if the pillow was a Black person."
But after the sisters brought attention to the appalling video, more racist videos followed, including one believed to be directly aimed at 14-year-old Naya.
In addition to being filled with racial slurs, the video also encouraged Naya to take her own life.
Encouraging suicide is illegal in the state of Minnesota.
The students in the video, which has reportedly been shared on Facebook.over one thousand times, were laughing as they made these very pointed attacks at Naya.
"Nobody likes [N-word]s, f***ing kill yourself right this time, do it f***king right."
"Cut deep enough this time or f***king tie the rope higher."
Naya told Minneapolis ABC affiliate KTSP she was in utter disbelief when the videos were shown to her by a fellow student.
"It was just the most disgusting thing I've ever witnessed in my entire life."
"I was feeling I was confused. I didn't really know what I had done to even deserve it."
"When I first saw the video, I hadn't really processed everything that was going on."
"I was hearing the words but yesterday I was in my counselor's office, and I was really talking about it to them, and that's when it all really hit me and how personal it was to me."
"That was just really hard because I just had this wave of emotions."
Naya, who has had ongoing struggles with anxiety and depression, was especially hurt by the fact these girls had the gall to refer to her previous suicide attempt this past May.
"Talking about my suicide attempts is absolutely not OK."
"I don't think they even understand the impact of this on me and my family, to even make these comments"Elizabeth is now demanding accountability for all the harm this incident has caused her family, particularly her sister, telling KTSP this was not an isolated incident.
"I don't know at this point what I can do to make sure that this stops for good because it's too much on my sister."
"It's too much on the family to just constantly be in these issues where somebody is harassing her and somebody is bullying her and she's only a freshman."
"She still has three more years of being at the school, and I want those three years to be good for her."
Naya confessed to Fox 9 the videos made her afraid of what the next four years of high school have in store for her.
"I really can't imagine what the next four years are going to look like."
"And it scares me, it really does, it scares me to have to go through this."
"No one should ever have to go through this, especially regarding the color of their skin."
After sharing her story, Naya was met with an outpouring of love, including from viewers of Fox 9's report on YouTube.
"I am wishing this young lady the very best and I know this will bring about good and amazing opportunities for her. She belongs there and her life is precious."
"If this young lady is thinking of law school I am offering to mentor her throughout the process, she will go far and wide. I'm sorry this happened to you my friend. Hang in there, you're loved and appreciated. Your life is super valuable!"- Flavio Abreu
"I stand with her. She doesn't know it yet but she's on the better side of history. Yes history. This is going to change some minds forever." - Catch Twenty2
"I'm so sorry this happened to you. Sending you love, kisses, and hugs"- Enigma
"How disgusting! Stay strong Nya you are so much better than those haters! You are going to do great things in this world one day!"
"Sending you love and prayers young lady! I hope the parents of the attackers actually do something about this!!!"- Nigoue Barber
Other viewers joined in demanding accountability from the school.
"Yes expose all of them/ their parents/ faculty members who didn't do anything."- S Richardson
"I hope they press charges on her. That video was horrifying!"- Tiana Elyse
"I can't f*cking believe this. I'm so ashamed that someone at my school would do something like this." - Asian Guy On The Internet
"This boils me from head to toe. This young lady will be traumatized by this for the rest of her days. Sickening."- Delphanie Daniels
"Just watched the video, and it was pretty awful. I hope those kids get punished."- xstraigtedgefishingx
Naya shared how much the support from her community and beyond in the face of this unspeakable incident meant to her.
"It's just the most, like, immense feeling of the love from everybody that showed their support for me and my family."
"It's just it's honestly like an unexplainable feeling. I couldn't even express how thankful I am for everybody."
Prior Lake Principal John Bezek sent out a letter condemning the content of the videos.
"Racist messages like the ones in the video create an environment that is hostile to learning."
"I want to assure students and staff that we are committed to their safety and emotional well-being."
Superintendent Teri Staloch also sent out a letter, reassuring students and parents the girls in the video will be facing consequences.
"Once the video was brought to our attention, we immediately launched an investigation into the students involved, and we will take swift and appropriate action."
Det. Sgt. Mike Schiltz of the Savage Police Department also made a statement saying:
"The Savage Police Department is aware of the posted video and is working with administration at Prior Lake High School to investigate the matter."
While the identity of the girls in the video has yet to be disclosed, Fox 9 reported that the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux community identified a minor from their community in the video, and condemned all comments made.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/