African-American leaders in the South Bay area of California are accusing administrators at Monta Vista High School and the local sheriff’s office of failing to take action following the discovery of a “kill list” last fall that specifically targeted black students.
“You’re talking about killing people in school. Killing people—you understand,” Walter Wilson, from the African-American Community Service Agency, said, according to KGO.
“They created a kill list, and on the list were the names of six or seven African-American students in the school,” attorney Richard Richardson noted.
Richardson, KGO notes, filed a lawsuit on behalf of one of the students who has since left the school in the wake of the threats.
“They gave a specific and credible threat that they would kill her with bullets, and they talked about how many bullets it would take,” he added.
Although the school uncovered the incident, Richardson said there was no discipline, not even a detention, that was considered. The school insisted that it investigated the incident in September and that it took “appropriate disciplinary action.”
The sheriff’s office said that the case was referred to the district attorney’s office, and that the DA’s office is currently reviewing the case.
According to the Mercury News, Richardson said that administrators failed to disclose the list to the students or to law enforcement when it first appeared on social media in September. The lawsuit accuses the district of violating federal and civil rights claims and state education codes by failing to prevent discrimination against black students and failing to enforce anti-bullying policies.
“The students themselves had no idea that their lives were being threatened,” community activist Wilson said during a press conference Tuesday in San Jose, Calif. “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.”
The “kill list” was apparently created by six to 10 nonblack students and shared on Instagram and Snapchat, and included intentions to “shoot and kill all black students at the high school.” It also reportedly referred to the black students using a racial slur.