Cloquet, Esko schools condemn comments about Native students

Leaders of the Cloquet and Esko school districts are condemning an online conversation in which a student said he wished Native Americans at his school would die.

Screengrabs of the SnapChat conversation have been circulating on social media. One student said he would not want to go to school "with the tribe," prompting another to write that he wished his school would be bombed so that "all natives die."

Leaders of both districts issued statements Friday calling the statements "intolerable" and apologizing "for the harm this incident has done or may do."

Both districts said the event "has materially and substantially disrupted education in our school building, infringing on the rights of others to a safe educational environment and will lead to appropriate disciplinary action, individualized education targeting these racist beliefs, and restorative practices to address the harms caused by ignorance."

The districts said details of disciplinary actions cannot be released because the information is considered private educational data.

According to the Minnesota Department of Education, about 14.1% of the students in the Cloquet district and 1.3% of the students in the Esko district are American Indian.

The statement from Cloquet High School Administration and the Cloquet American Indian Education leadership said, "Our school community will not tolerate racial profiling or any racist or hate language."

Esko Public Schools Administration said they will "renew our ongoing efforts to build a culturally competent school community, free of intolerance, ignorance, and hate."

The conversation came on the same week that police investigated a shooting threat at Cloquet High School and a bomb threat at Esko High School. Neither threat has been substantiated.