NORTH BRANCH, Minn. -- North Branch residents say they're outraged by a series of lists that appeared on social media this week -- and the reaction to those lists by school district officials.
"I just wish the district would have seen it that way and not gone the direction that they did. The bullies seem to have gotten what they wanted," said Tina Ness, a North Branch parent.
On Thursday, district officials confirm they learned of the existence of three lists posted on Twitter by North Branch High School students. The lists -- entitled "slut," "hottie" and "man whore" -- ranked students, 1-50, within each category.
"I think it was extremely disrespectful first of all," said McKenzie Ness, a North Branch sophomore.
Several students decided to wear their numbered rankings at school, as a protest to what they considered bullying. And district officials confirm three of those students were later suspended for refusing to remove the numbers. District officials say they were dealing with two separate issues: one involving the list itself; and the other, the distraction posed by the numbers in school.
"We have to conduct a thorough and complete investigation into this matter before we can act, and that's what we've been doing," said Patrick Tepoorten, the Community Relations Coordinator for the North Branch School District.
Tepoorten said the students responsible for the list will be disciplined according to district policy.
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