Five students at Boulder Prep High School were expelled for what the school is calling derogatory and threatening comments in a neo-Nazi Facebook group.
The online group called "The Fourth Reich Official" had members from various Colorado schools. One was a Boulder Prep student, who pledged allegiance to the Nazis, then took his own life last month. Then another member of the group blew the whistle on the racist messages and school officials stepped in.
Walking into Boulder Prep High School, visitors see a quote from Confucius on the front wall. Throughout the small school with around 100 students, inspirational messages from world leaders decorate the halls. It seems hardly like the breeding ground for a neo-Nazi movement.
"Oh, I was absolutely terrified," Headmaster Lili Adeli said.
Adeli said she couldn't believe what she read when a student showed her a private Facebook chat between students recruiting members for what they called a "war."
9NEWS blacked out names, photos and profanity.
"We need vehicles and more weapons," one student wrote. “Rounding those up won’t be too difficult though.”
"This is a serious group. DEATH TO ALL JEWS AND N****** ," another posted.
When confronted, some of the teens said it was a joke.
"It's absolutely not a joking matter," said Adeli.
The school administration decided to expel the five students involved. One appealed and the female student is allowed back in class after what Boulder Prep calls restorative justice.
Adeli said the swift action from the school is appropriate to keep her students safe.
"There have been just too many examples where hate speech begins as just speech but then someone takes it a step further," she said.
She believes there is a mental health issue with some of the students, but also said there has been a minimization of hate speech in society and the school will do what it can to teach the teens it won't be tolerated.
"More has to be done not in just our six hours of the day but in the other 18 hours that we don't have control," the headmaster said.
Tuesday in class, the students will see exactly what was said in the Facebook group chat as the administrators plan to show the students the screenshots.
"For those that continue to think it was a joke or that it was an overreaction, for them to get that real visceral connection and impact of seeing it, will be one of the steps in stopping this from ever happening," Adeli said.