Police last month told TheBlaze that a white high school student who said she was falsely accused of sending racist messages was not a suspect in the headline-grabbing incident — which the superintendent of White Bear Lake Area Schools in Minnesota had referred to as a "hoax."
Now it turns out — according to police reports obtained through a public records request by the College Fix — the school had stated that a "person of color" created the Instagram account from which the racist messages were sent.
Previously all that officials were willing to say was that the responsible party is a female juvenile, which clouded the origin of the racist messages that spurred a student walkout and protest — and a lot of fear and false accusations.
What's the background?
White Bear Lake Area High School students walked out of school on the morning of April 9 in protest over racist threats sent to several black students from an anonymous Instagram account, the Pioneer Press reported, which added that the messages contained death threats and repeated use of the N-word.
The paper reported in a
follow-up story that a female student soon took responsibility for sending the messages, and Superintendent Wayne Kazmierczak said in a letter that the messages were "a hoax sent under false pretense." He added that the student "poses no threat to students of color," the Pioneer Press said.
But the paper said Kazmierczak soon penned a separate letter saying he regretted using the word "hoax" and didn't mean to "minimize the impact that racism or racist acts has on students and families who have been marginalized throughout history and in White Bear Lake Area Schools."
The superintendent also said he would recommend expulsion for the culprit due to violation of the district's bullying and harassment policies, the Pioneer Press added.
At the time police would not comment on the race of the student responsible for the messages, and the school district did not respond to TheBlaze's inquires about the race of the student behind the messages.
But Ellen Hiniker, White Bear Lake's city manager, had said in a statement — which appears to have been taken down but still can be viewed at the Internet Archive — that the "juvenile female" who created the anonymous Instagram account did so "to raise awareness of social and racial injustice due to past incidents that occurred at school."
"It has not yet been determined whether additional individuals contributed to the content of the postings associated with this account," Hiniker added in the statement. "Although the investigation is ongoing, it is important that the information we have at this time be shared to help ease fears associated with this particular incident."
White student said she was falsely accused
As the mystery deepened regarding the identity — and specifically the race — of the individual behind the racist messages, a white student told The Daily Wire she was falsely accused of the act.
Avery Severson, a sophomore at the high school, told the outlet that a black student accused her of sending the racist messages. The Daily Wire said the accusing student, Precious Boahen, shared a screenshot of the messages with the caption, "I bet you a billion bucks this is Avery Severson or one of her friends all mad because they can't have their Turning Point club at school."
More from the outlet:
Severson said that over the past year she has been stonewalled by her school administration in an effort to create a Turning Point USA club. In contrast, Boahen was able to create a black student affinity group with relative ease. Boahen accused Severson of being jealous of her ability to successfully kickstart a club. [...]
Severson told The Daily Wire that she was in a driver's education class on Wednesday, April 7, when the conversations were posted to social media. She denied the accusations and said she would never have made such abhorrent comments. [...]
The Severson family met with White Bear Lake High School administrators who encouraged Severson to remain silent about the situation. Classmates, Severson says, took her silence on the matter as an admission of guilt and threatened her. Severson was escorted to and from classes until April 12.
The outlet said Boahen publicly posted an email she sent to White Bear Lake administrators threatening to spill the story to the media and take legal action.
"If swift and sweeping action is not taken, I will be contacting news outlets to let the public know how [the administration] really operates in this city, and I will be looking for legal action as well," Boahen wrote, according to the Daily Wire.
With that, the high school launched an investigation, the outlet said.
But while White Bear Lake police would not comment on the race of the student responsible for the racist messages, police did confirm to TheBlaze that Severson was not a suspect.
Here's Severson recounting her ordeal to Fox News:
A new revelation
However, police reports obtained through a public records request by the College Fix indicate that the school had stated a "person of color" created the Instagram account from which the racist messages were sent.
The police reports go into detail regarding the investigation, which attempted — through tech forensics and search warrants — to get to the bottom of the identity of the person or persons responsible for sending the racist messages.
And while no names are revealed in the reports, more than one student interviewed by police expressed surprise that the school stated the Instagram account from which the racist messages were sent was created by a "person of color."
For instance, the report notes — in reference to one student interviewed — that "she was baffled by the statement from her school that claimed it was a juvenile person of color who had created the account."
The report also says — in reference to a second student interviewed — that "she also said she was very confused by the statement from the school about the account creator being a person of color."
Police determined where the Instagram account was created after matching the IP address and interviewed a third student who lives at the residence in question. The report said she admitted to creating the account but wouldn't admit to sending the racist messages or reveal the names of others who may have sent the messages who were physically with her at the time as she didn't want to be labeled a "snitch." This was after she initially indicated she knew who was behind the racist messages, police said.
No charges are being pursued in the case, the police report added.