Ongoing Turmoil at Edina High School as Police Investigate Video [Updated]
The meltdown in Edina public schools has taken a turn for the worse. The Edina Police Department is now investigating a threatening online video posted by an anonymous group called EHS Anti-fascists, targeting members of the Youth Conservatives Club at Edina High School. The individual on the video was wearing a Guy Fawkes mask and could not be identified.
But from the sound of it, the real fascists appear to be the apparent students behind the video.
Over the years we have been watching you, your inability to condemn racism, your corruption of the EHS administration, your sanctioning of hate-speech towards innocent ordinary students, all for the purpose of pursuing your alt-right agenda…
This is why we at EHS Anti-fascists have decided your club cannot continue to exists in its current form. We will not stop until every tentacle of your evil monstrosity is sliced off at the nerve.
The incident grew out of a high school assembly held on Friday in honor of Veterans Day. At the assembly a group of students refused to stand for the national anthem and playing of Taps. There are photographs showing high school students lying on the floor with other students standing with their hands over their hearts.
Edina Schools Superintendent John Schultz put it this way in an unusual update disseminated today to parents.
During one of the EHS assemblies, a small group of students chose to peacefully protest during the playing of the national anthem. Since the event, EHS administration engaged in multiple conversations both with the students who protested and with others who expressed their concerns about the protests.
Over the weekend tensions between students escalated over social media with some criticizing and some defending the actions of the disrespectful students. By Monday the police were called in response to safety concerns on the part of conservative students and parents generated by the threatening tone of the anonymous video.
Unfortunately, over the weekend, additional online chatter ensued, some of which was inappropriate and insulting to certain groups of students. In response, a new group calling itself the Edina High School Antifascists created a social media account and posted a video that was interpreted by some in our school and community as threatening.
Schultz played down the probability of a potential threat behind the video message.
While the most recent video is certainly inflammatory and creepy, our investigation in concert with EPD into the post has uncovered no credible or legal threat against EHS, or any Edina student, staff member or school. And we are happy to learn that the owner of the video has since removed it from YouTube. Nonetheless, the investigation continues into identifying the responsible parties and we continue to work in partnership with students to help ensure everyone feels safe at school.
Shortly after the police involvement became public, the video was pulled down. In his message, Schultz referred to the increased attention brought to Edina Public Schools since the recent publication of American Experiment’s expose on political indoctrination in the district’s classrooms.
As we are all keenly aware, our community has worked through some challenging times over the last couple months. Our students have witnessed discussions on social media, in the news, and in person in which adults holding different viewpoints have challenged each other in ways that were not always productive. It is important that we model for our young people how to express our views and engage with each other respectfully within the safe environment of our school and online.
Edina police are still looking into the incident and the events leading up to it.
UPDATE: See the video here. It is appalling.