Boulder Prep student's expulsion lifted after apologizing for Nazi-inspired Facebook group chat

Posted at 12:18 PM, Oct 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-18 01:12:01-04

BOULDER, Colo. -- Days after a Boulder Preparatory High School student spoke out following his expulsion, the school released its own statement on a Nazi-inspired Facebook group chat that led the school to expel a group of five students. 

Police investigated the group after one of the school's students committed suicide in late September, leading administrators to discover the group.

The group, titled the "Official 4th Reich Group Chat," discussed a host of racist topics, including killing Jewish people, black people and working towards the "final solution." 

At several times, the group called their mission serious, writing it wasn't a joke to any who were involved. 

One student involved in the group disputed that to Denver7, calling the group chat a twisted joke that turned sour. 

"They're sorry that it got to this point," Sage Reynolds said to Denver7, noting the group wasn't intended to go public or hurt feelings. 

According to Boulder Preparatory High School, the conversation did hurt feelings, in addition to inspiring fear. That led the school to quickly expel the five students involved in the group, although across the district, roughly 15 were involved.

"The hateful speech in the posts had been and continued to pose a dangerous distraction to our school community," Boulder Preparatory High School representatives said Monday. "The involved students and families were notified on Sunday afternoon that we do not tolerate hate speech and cannot allow students to be in our community who espouse these beliefs that threaten our students and school community." 

Several days after the expulsion, the school said it decided to allow students to appeal their expulsion in front of a board that included members of the staff, student body, board of education, parents and other community leaders. 

"All were, and remain, very concerned about the behavior of the students involved and have volunteered to bring their experience to reintegrate those students that are willing to rejoin," the representative said. 

Only one student, identified as a female -- who as she is under 18-years-old can not be identified, decided to appeal the expulsion. 

On Sept. 29, the student appealed, explaining "she had reflected on the events of the past few days." She said she intended to make amends and would work to reintegrate into the school. 

According to the school -- now midway through October -- the student has passed many steps and is again attending school. 

"We only wish that more students had availed themselves of our restorative justice opportunity and we also hope that other schools in the District will join us in trying to engage, rather than ignore, these youth who have succumbed to what is the least attractive and most dangerous of human traits: having fun with hating and hurting others," the representative wrote. 

Reynolds, who did not appeal his expulsion, said he will join the workforce as he pursues avenues that will allow him to be admitted to college. 


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