A sophomore girl at White Bear Lake High School was falsely accused of sending racist and threatening messages to a black classmate last week.
A student at White Bear Lake High School received hateful and racist messages via Instagram earlier this month. White Bear Lake students held a walkout in protest of the racist messages, which later turned out to be empty threats.
The situation became national news after an FBI investigation deemed the messages to be a hoax, sent from a student who said she wanted to “raise awareness of social and racial injustice due to past incidents that occurred at school.”
Avery Severson was falsely accused of sending the messages prior to the FBI investigation revealing the true sender.
Severson appeared on Fox and Friends after receiving threats herself for supposedly being the one behind the hateful messages.
Severson said she had been trying to start a chapter of Turning Point USA, a conservative group, at her school. She said they needed 20 members to start the chapter and were nearing that number when she was accused of being racist and sending the hateful Instagram messages to a black student.
These rumors started online “with no evidence pointing to” her, Severson said.
“I was just shocked when I saw that they were accusing me. I felt unsafe. I felt unsafe at school … I just felt unsafe in my community.”
Severson had an escort to walk her to and from class, she said. She noted that even adults were posting screenshots of the messages and accusing her on community pages on social media.
“I just felt unsafe, and unsure of what was going to happen, and unsure of what my future would hold because of these rumors,” Severson said.