Attorney Richard Richardson, Fremont Union High School District, Monta Vista High School, National, News, Race, Racism in U.S., Racist Kill List -

Lawsuit: Calif. High School District Failed to Protect Black Students Targeted on Racist ‘Kill List’

Attorney Richard Richardson, Fremont Union High School District, Monta Vista High School, National, News, Race, Racism in U.S., Racist Kill List -

Lawsuit: Calif. High School District Failed to Protect Black Students Targeted on Racist ‘Kill List’

The racist “kill list” by students at Monta Vista High School allegedly threatened to “lynch n—–s” (Image courtesy of KPIX 5).

The parent of a Black student at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, Calif., has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit accusing the school and school district of trying to cover up an alleged “kill list” targeting African-American students, including her own child.

The lawsuit, filed in Santa Clara Superior Court this week, claims that the school failed to take proper disciplinary action to protect six to seven Black students who were specifically targeted by other non-Black students via social media. The complaint also contends that school officials didn’t do enough to prevent racial discrimination.

“The students themselves had no idea that their lives were being threatened,” community activist Walter Wilson said during a news conference in San Jose on Tuesday, June 13. “The parents had no idea they were sending their kids to school in what they thought was a safe environment, which clearly it was not or may not have been.”

Local CBS affiliate KPIX 5 reported that the posts originally surfaced in September but were only recently brought to light after a story about the incident was published in the school’s magazine. The lawsuit claims parents weren’t notified of the incident at that time.

On Tuesday, the attorney representing the plaintiff’s family showed reporters a printout of a computer screen at Monta Vista High that contained a racial slur.

“It says, ‘What is your focus for today?’ And then it says,’Lynch N—–s,” attorney Richard Richardson said, adding that he would use the printout as evidence in the case.

Richardson went on to argue that school officials failed to ensure the safety of Black students after six to 10 male students targeted them with a racist ‘kill list.’

‘They called themselves, ‘n—a kill spree masters,’ ” the attorney explained. “They went on to say they were going to kill students. On that list were the names of 6 or 7 African-American students at the school.”

As for the student whose parent filed the lawsuit, Richardson said, “They mentioned her by name and gave her a specific and credible threat that they would riddle her with bullets and they talked about how many bullets it would take.”

The Mercury News reported that there are only five Black students at the school. That’s 0.2 percent of the entire student body.

The posts, shared on social media sites Instagram and Snapchat, also included intentions to “shoot and kill all Black students,” used racial slurs to refer to Black people and made misogynistic comments about women, according to The Mercury News.

The incident has since spurred an investigation by the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s office, which then turned the matter over to the District Attorney’s Office for criminal prosecution. Authorities say they’re still not sure if the racist list was a legitimate threat to students or just an inappropriate social media joke.

Local activists took the threat seriously, however, arguing that the incident could have been another Columbine High School shooting waiting to happen.

“The same thing happened at Columbine,” Wilson said. “Those students made threats, people took it lightly, they went home and made bombs. The same thing could’ve happened here. Thank God it didn’t, but who knows what’s really going on down there at Monta Vista High School?”

A representative from the Fremont Union High School District told The Mercury News they are aware of the incident and contented that the district took immediate action to investigate when it was brought to their attention last fall.

“Administrators also immediately contacted the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, due to the seriousness of the speech [in the posts], and as we do with any issue where we believe safety is involved,” a district spokeswoman said in a statement.

“Personnel from the Sheriff’s Office investigated and interviewed the students involved the day after the incident was reported to staff; both those that had written the offensive language and those that were the witnesses/victims involved in the social media chat that occurred,” she added.

Authorities have not released any further details about the case in order to protect the privacy of the minors involved.

The targeted student named in the lawsuit has since been removed from the school and now attends another school in the same district.

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