Prior Lake officials say two students will be disciplined after an investigation showed they were behind two racist notes found at the high school in February.
Prior Lake Savage Area Schools (PLSAS) initially conducted an investigation into a note left in a student's gym bag Feb. 22 that said "get off our team" and used a racist slur. But the district hired an external law firm when a definitive conclusion was not reached, according Superintendent Michael Thomas in a message to staff and families. An attorney reviewed that case and another that cropped up six days later when a message was left on a bathroom mirror telling Black students to kill themselves.
District officials also retained a handwriting expert from a forensics firm, which compared the messages to the suspected students' handwriting. Based on the analysis, the investigator concluded it was "more probable than not" that specific students were responsible for writing each message, according to Thomas.
Officials also interviewed a student witness in June, but three other students did not respond to interview requests or refused to participate in the investigation, according to a July 1 redacted investigation report.
"PLSAS will not tolerate behavior that inflicts racial harm and prevents our students from learning in a safe environment," Thomas said in the message. "That's why our district has taken active steps to promote conversations about the culture of our school by working closely with city, township and community partners, along with students and staff, to implement their ideas to drive change in our school."