While investigating the suicide of a high school student in Boulder, Colorado, police discovered a disturbing online group, for which five students have been expelled for their involvement.
In late September, police investigated the suicide of a Boulder Preparatory High School student, which led to the discovery of a secret Facebook group chat involving five students.
The group chat, titled "Official 4th Reich Group Chat," was a place for the members to discuss disturbing racist topics, such as killing black people, Jewish people and Mexicans.
"This is a serious group," one member of the group wrote. "DEATH TO ALL JEWS AND N------."
In the chat, the students discussed recruiting more members to "start building our army for the war."
The members said that the mission was not a joke several times. However, one student disputed this.
"They're sorry that it got to this point," former student Sage Reynolds told KMGH. Reynolds said the group he was a member of was not supposed to go public or offend anybody and that it was a dark joke gone wrong.
Boulder Preparatory High School says the discovery of the group chat did offend many, and that many other students feared returning to school. The school then expelled five students who were involved in the chat, although roughly 15 students from throughout the district were allegedly involved.
"The hateful speech in the posts had been and continued to pose a dangerous distraction to our school community," representatives from the Boulder Preparatory High School said in a statement. "The involved students and families were notified on Sunday afternoon that we do not tolerate hate speech and cannot allow students to be in our community who espouse these beliefs that threaten our students and school community."
Days after their expulsion, the school allowed the students to return to appeal their expulsion in front of a board that included staff members, students, parents, board of education members and community leaders.
"All were, and remain, very concerned about the behavior of the students involved and have volunteered to bring their experience to reintegrate those students that are willing to rejoin," the school representative said.
Only one of the students appealed, a female student who has not been named because she is under the age of 18. She will be allowed to return to class after "restorative justice," according to KUSA.
Headmaster Lili Adeli says she thinks that some of the students involved could potentially have mental health issues. She says the school plans to do whatever it can to teach the students their behavior and hate speech will not be tolerated.
"More has to be done not in just our six hours of the day but in the other 18 hours that we don't have control," Adeli said.