Two students were arrested and a third one cited in Las Vegas in connection to their posts on an Instagram account that targeted Black students with racist threats.
Arrests of a 15- and a 16-year-old who attend Arbor View High School were made Tuesday, March 19, Clark County School District Police said. The Instagram account in question used violent language, according to authorities. A letter sent home to parents from CCSC said the account contained “racial comments and possible threatening messaging.”
One of the posts read, “God just seeing these n—ers infuriates me. I just wanna go Columbine pt 2 just but only kill the f–king n—ers. I can smell the f–king melanin,” according to a screenshot of the account.
Another read, “Alright so I spotted sum wild monkeys in my lunch room and in my 50 machine gun waiting outside for them. Them n—ers gonna get it good.”
The page, which was titled @arborview_nigge_rs, claimed to be a joke account, according to its bio. It also encouraged people to be “free to send pictures.”
Instagram removed the profile in question not long after it was made, but it still managed to go viral in the community, according to KTNV.
The arrested teens were charged with making terroristic threats with a hate crime enhancement, conspiracy to commit terroristic threats, cyberbullying and breach of peace.
The CCSD started getting calls about the threats Monday night, Sgt. Brian Zink said. Because of the kind of threat, Zink said police presence at the school had been heightened.
The U.S. Department of Education began investigating after CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus F. Jara learned about the racist page when he touched down in Vegas from Washington Tuesday.
By Wednesday, a third student was cited in connection to the posts. However, the CCSD said in a statement that it wasn’t believed he was tied to threats from the account.
“The student who was implicated today was cited for cyberbullying because the student chose to turn themselves in and it does not appear the student was actively involved in planning the threats,” the statement said.
“This is an ongoing investigation,” it continued. “Additionally, the district’s Equity and Diversity Department has been working with school leaders to provide training on creating a climate of mutual respect.”
In response to the incident, the Clark County Black Caucus issued a statement on March 20.
“Today, Clark County Black Caucus discussed concerns of racism, bias, and school climate negatively directed at Black students in Clark County School District, with Dr. Jesus Jara and members of his leadership team, after the recent incident of terror at Arbor View High School leaving students, families, staff, and community traumatized,” said Yvette Williams, chair of the Clark County Black Caucus. “We appreciate his strong position to prosecute violations to the full extent of the law, and support efforts to make systemic change in AVHS school climate resulting in an inclusive school culture.”
The statement went on to call on Jara to “review current protocols, training to include a stronger emphasis on racism and bias, and training schedule with immediate implementation.”
Williams also pointed out past racist incidents at the school “where Black students don’t feel safe nor their concerns validated.”
“CBC will continue to work with [the Clark County School District] towards optimized learning environments where our students feel welcome, feel safe, and supported to be successful,” the statement concluded.
The Las Vegas NAACP has also responded to the incident. In a statement released Friday, it said it has been working with leadership in the CCSD and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department among other community organizations.
“It is critically important that we address the egregious harm that has been done to a protected portion of our community in the form of African American students,” it said before adding, “Events of this serious nature do not occur suddenly or without warning. This is an indication of a more significant climate issue within CCSD and must be immediately addressed within the African American community. The LV NAACP is committed to work in partnership with CCSD, the Nevada Department of Education’s Office of Safe & Respectful Learning, and community leaders to further build upon the work and implementation of the Governor’s Statewide Safety Task Force. The time to act is now.
“All schools must be a safe, learning environments for ALL children,” the statement concluded.