The father of two teen boys who allegedly bullied a Minnesota girl with racist comments on Snapchat has reportedly been fired from his job.
The alleged case of cyberbullying became a national news story when the father of the girl made an emotional plea on YouTube, seeking to force his daughter’s bullies to “own” their comments.
In the nearly six-minute video, Brad Knudson played a voice-mail message that he said he received from the boys’ father, Deron Puro. In the message, Puro used a racial slur.
According to KMSP, Puro’s employer confirmed that as of Jan. 21, he was no longer associated with the financial firm, where he worked as an independent contractor.
Knudson’s video has been seen more than 1.3 million times since it was posted Monday.
In it, he explained that he and his wife adopted their African American daughter, Dierdra, 11 years ago. On New Year’s Eve, while she and a friend were sending snaps to friends at their house, Dierdra began receiving abusive messages.
After the third abusive snap, Dierdra’s friend called and told Knudson and his wife. Knudson recorded what he said was the fourth snap from the teen boys, who are twins, and played it on his YouTube video.
“You’re a s—,” one teen said, adding the n-word.
“You’s a fat a– b—-, yes you are,” the other brother added.
“As you can imagine, my wife and I were extremely shocked,” Knudson said in the video.
Later, he said in the video, he tried to reach the children’s parents; he said they did not respond to his calls. Finally, he went to the police.
In the video, Knudson said that after police spoke to the children at school, he communicated by phone with Puro, who denied that his children had done anything wrong. Puro called again later and left a message, according to Knudson, who played the message in the video.
“Yeah, Brad, tides have turned, huh. I guess you’re a [n-word] lover,” the voice-mail message said.
Taking his complaint to YouTube was a last resort, he said.
“It just dawned on me that I can’t have this hanging over us on my daughter thinking the worst and something could happen,” Knudson said in the video. “I just want him to own it … and his twins that go to high school as a freshman, they can own it, too.”
“I just had to get this off my chest. I just don’t know what to do other than I love my daughter, and I don’t want her to end up committing suicide because of freaking morons like this,” he added.
Local school officials said they are investigating the incident.
“Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools is aware of the YouTube video. First and foremost, we do not tolerate racism, harassment or bullying of any kind,” Kristi Mussman, the district’s director of communications, said in a statement, according to KMSP. “We are conducting our own investigation to get a better understanding of the events that led up to this video. We have reached out to Mr. Knudson directly to offer support for his daughter.”