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Racist 'Kill List' At Cupertino School Spurs Investigation, Lawsuit

CUPERTINO (KPIX 5) -- Students at a Cupertino high school have been accused of creating a "kill list" targeting African-American students, and  some parents are claiming the school district tried to cover it up.

What happened at Monta Vista High School was so disturbing and threatening to one African-American student and her family that they filed a civil rights lawsuit and pulled her from the school.

Attorney Richard Richardson on Tuesday held a printout of a computer screen from Monta Vista High School to show to media during a press conference.

"It says, 'What is your focus for today?' And then it says, 'Lynch N------,'" said Richardson.

Monta Vista High School "kill list"
Monta Vista High School "kill list" evidence (CBS)

It was one piece of evidence he will use in a civil rights lawsuit filed against the Fremont Union High School District and administrators at Monta Vista.

He says officials failed to adequately protect African-American students who were targeted by 6 to 10 male students of various racial backgrounds with a racist "kill list."

"They called themselves, 'n----- kill spree masters.' They went on to say they were going to kill students," explained Richardson. "On that list were the names of 6 or 7 African-American students at the school."

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the family of one of the female students targeted on the list.

"They mentioned her by name and they gave her a specific and credible threat that they would riddle her with bullets and they talked about how many bullets it would take," said Richardson.

The incident happened last fall and also included disparaging remarks against women.

But it only came to light recently when a story about the incident was published by students in a school magazine.

A coalition of South Bay civil rights groups accuses the district of a cover up.

"The same thing happened at Columbine. Those students made threats, people took it lightly, they went home and made bombs," said Walter Wilson of the African American Community Service Agency. "The same thing could have happened here. Thank God it didn't, but who knows what's really going on down there at Monta Vista High School?"

District officials would not comment on the suit, but issued a statement that said it became aware of the situation and that "Monta Vista High School staff immediately investigated and took appropriate disciplinary action."

Several students at Monta Vista told KPIX 5 they have heard the n-word being used more and more freely at school, but most had no idea that some classmates were taking racial remarks to such an extreme.

"I really thought that Cupertino was sort of a bubble and that none of that would happen here," said student Krishna Dhulipala. "It turns out I was wrong and all of that malicious content exists here too."

The Santa Clara County Sheriff's office said it launched an intensive investigation into the incident. That case has since been turned over to the district attorney's office for criminal prosecution.

No additional details of that case have been released and the identities of the students involved are being withheld because they are minors.

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