Black Student Targeted in Racist Video Encouraging Suicide
In SummaryAfter speaking out against a racist video posted by classmates, a Black high school student was subjected to harassment encouraging her to die by suicide.
WARNING: This story contains discussions of racism and suicide. Viewer discretion is advised.
A Black teenager in Minnesota is speaking out after a classmate released a video harassing her using the N-word and encouraging her to die by suicide.
According to FOX 9, Prior Lake High School freshman Nya Sigin said she’s at a “loss of words” after what she experienced. Nya has received an outpouring of support from people on social media and in the community, but she wants the school to take action against the students involved in making the video.
The incident began when the sisters say a student recorded a video attacking a pillow with the N-word written on it. Once Nya and her older sister brought attention to it, they said more videos were created and directed at them in retaliation.
“Nobody is going to forget what this girl said about my sister,” Prior Lake senior Elizabeth Sigin said. “She beat up the pillow while calling the pillow racial slurs, pretending as if the pillow was a Black person.”
Elizabeth posted a message on social media about the incident, saying her sister attempted to die by suicide in May and the video encourages her sister to try again. “My sister has worked so hard to become the person she is today and I’m so proud of her for overcoming her struggles,” Elizabeth wrote.
Nya was released from an inpatient hospital months ago after struggles with her mental health, FOX 9 reported. “To think that they could even say such things about another human being, it’s beyond me,” Nya said.
Parents received a letter from Superintendent Teri Staloch about the incident. In Minnesota, it is against the law to encourage someone to die by suicide. Police are working with school administrators to investigate.
The Sigin sisters are now worried about their future at Prior Lake High School. “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 said. “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.”
For Nya, the incident has made her fearful. “I really can’t imagine what the next four years are going to look like, and it scares me,” she said. “It really does scare me to have to go through this. No one should ever have to go through this, especially regarding the color of their skin.”
The story has gone viral after activist Shaun King posted about it to his 3.7 million followers on Instagram. King brought attention to a GoFundMe page for Nya to “pay her way through college and ease whatever burdens” her family may be experiencing. It has raised more than $65,000 in less than 24 hours.
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