Authorities in the city of Savage in Minnesota announced they’ve launched an investigation into a video circulating on social media that shows a White student going on a racist tirade directed at a Black student and encouraging her to kill herself.
The Black student, identified as Nya Sigin, told CNN she believes she was the person being referred to in the video that has since been widely shared. The 14-year-old Prior Lake High School student said she has in the past struggled with mental health issues, adding that she has also attempted suicide. Nya said the video’s content “shocked” her.
In the video in question, a girl can be heard saying, “You can f**king rot in hell…no one likes N***ers … f**king kill yourself right this time.” Another girl is also heard laughing and making abusive comments in the background.
“I really couldn’t comprehend what I was listening to, it was really just a wave of different emotions. I was angry, I was disgusted, I was sad, I was confused,” Nya said. The 14-year-old also revealed the girl in the video is a familiar face, and she’s known her since elementary school.
Nya said the video was likely shared on social media in September, but a schoolmate shared it with her on November 8. After they became aware of the video, Nya’s older sister, Elizabeth, went ahead to share it on Snapchat in an effort to show the vitriol her sister had been receiving. Elizabeth is also a student at Prior Lake High School.
“I received many messages from everybody asking me to send them the video,” Elizabeth said, adding that several students from their school, as well as other schools, subsequently filed complaints about the video through Prior Lake High School’s anonymous tip line.
“It was late Monday evening when I was advised of a horrific, hateful, racist video that was posted on social media platform,” Savage Police Chief Rodney Seurer said during a news conference on Thursday, CNN reported. “This is not tolerated here.”
“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,” Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools (PLSAS) Superintendent Teri Staloch also said in a November 9 letter to employees and families.
Nya also said the girls in the video brought up her mental health struggles. “They were always kind of hateful towards me … they would always bring up, like, my mental health issues, like my personal issues,” Nya said. The teen added spent time in the hospital in May after a suicide attempt.
“It’s still early on in the investigation so really can’t comment on what possible charges … We’re looking at all aspects, wherever our investigation will take us,” Savage Police Chief Rodney Seurer reportedly said when he was asked if the video’s content falls within a state law that prohibits people from encouraging or helping others to take their own lives.
Nya said she wants both government and school officials to look into the incident. But despite the hate she received, Nya expressed her gratitude for the support that has been shown to her.
“I just want people to know that I’m so beyond thankful for all the support,” she said. “It just makes me feel so loved and supported knowing that there are other people out there that have my back.”
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe that has been set to help raise funds for Nya’s college education has raised over $120,000.