BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4)– A disturbing Facebook chat group leaves five Boulder Preparatory High School students expelled after a friend’s suicide revealed a Neo-Nazi Facebook group among 15 high school students around Boulder.
Boulder police say the students from six schools in the area, including Boulder Prep and Boulder High School, openly discussed executing Jews and African Americans in what they called the “4th Reich’s Official Group Chat” on Facebook.
“I think they were just joking around and took it too far,” says Boulder High student Hailey Andresen.
Police say the leader of the group, a Boulder Prep student, committed suicide last month to show his allegiance to the Nazi party. One of the students who claims to be part of the chat group told CBS4 the suicide was instead related only to depression.
In a police report released to CBS4, he stated in the chat group shortly before his death, “I have crippling depression but I shall cure it by killing Jews.”
Other comments in the group include “White Power,” and “DEATH TO ALL JEWS.” They also used derogatory terms to describe executing African Americans.
Andresen has friends who belonged to the group and was surprised to learn about their involvement.
“The things that I saw on Facebook, I would not expect them to say that in real life,” Andresen said.
The Boulder Valley School District says students involved in the online group faced disciplinary action: “Boulder Police Department initiated an investigation of comments on a social media site that involved some BVSD high school students. Boulder Police did not initiate any criminal charges at the conclusion of the investigation.
“Boulder Valley School District administered appropriate responsive action with the students involved. Any information involving interaction with these students regarding this matter is confidential under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
“BVSD has a long history of teaching and modeling social justice, school safety, and equity for all students. Our district remains committed to this important work.”
Andresen says racial slurs around Boulder High aren’t that uncommon.
“Ninety-five percent of the kids here definitely yell out slurs and jokingly say racist things,” Andresen said.
Boulder police say there was not enough evidence to support criminal action against the 15 students involved.
In a statement to CBS4, the department said: “As offensive and repugnant as the online conversation was, the law does not allow for criminal charges simply because we disagree with the content. In evaluating this case, Boulder police had to determine whether there were direct threats against any specific person. There was no evidence of this. Instead, law enforcement worked collaboratively with the school district, which took action consistent with its policies and standards. The city upholds the values of inclusivity and diversity and supports efforts by the district, the specific schools involved and the community as a whole to demonstrate that these views are neither widespread nor acceptable.”
Boulder police said the investigation has been closed.