Minnesota high school student Avery Severson said on Friday that she was unsure what her future would hold after being falsely accused of sending racist messages to a Black classmate.
“I was just shocked when I saw that they were accusing me and I felt unsafe. I felt unsafe at school,” Severson, a sophomore at White Bear Lake High School near St. Paul, told “Fox & Friends.”
Severson was accused by a Black classmate of sending racist direct messages on Instagram.
“Screenshots from an alleged conversation between Precious Boahen, who accused Severson of racism, and an account called “GoWhiteBear,” show the anonymous account using racial slurs. It’s unclear who was ultimately behind the anonymous account,” according to the Daily Wire.
The so-called racist messages were discovered to be a “hoax” after White Bear Lake High School, the FBI, and the local police department investigated the situation. The district’s superintendent sent an email concluding that the Instagram messages were indeed a “hoax.”
“The initial investigations by the FBI, our local police department, and the school district uncovered that the social media posts were not what they appeared. The original messages were found to be a hoax sent under false pretense by an Instagram account that was created by a student. The individual who created the social media posts poses no threat to our students of color,” the email reads.
About a year ago, Severson said she was inspired by a Charlie Kirk video and attempted to start a Turning Point USA chapter at her school. Over the past year, Severson had been trying to get together a group of students to join the club. Her school told her the guidelines were that 20 students were needed to start the club.
“And the last couple of weeks, we got close to that number and then these rumors online started going around about me, accusing me of sending racist, terrible, hateful messages to a Black student at my school with no evidence pointing to me,” Severson said.
She said that she had to be “escorted” between classes until April 12. The rumors of the threatening messages even prompted a walkout by students in protest, supported by some of the school’s teachers, local media reported.
“I just felt unsafe in my community. Adults were even posting the screenshots. And so it was on city pages. And I just felt unsafe and unsure of what was going to happen and unsure of what my future would hold because of these rumors.”