Story Summary

Racist Graffiti at Agoura High School

agoura-hate-crimeAuthorities were investigating two incidents of racist graffiti targeting African-American students at Agoura High School.

Story Timeline
Previous Next
This story has 7 updates

AGOURA HILLS, Calif. (KTLA) — The mother of a student apparently being investigated in connection with hate graffiti found at Agoura High School defended her son on Thursday.

The mother, who did not want to be identified, spoke exclusively to KTLA, and said she feared her son was being used as a scapegoat.

“It’s been emotionally devastating to live with this the last couple of weeks,” she said.

“The rumors going around the school are basically that he did it,” said the family’s attorney, Christoper Ardalan.

Ardalan showed KTLA a picture of hate graffiti from last year on the campus, and said the school was glossing over racial tensions by pointing the finger at a student about to transfer.

“They found the easy target to be able to point the finger at, which was my client, because he had an intention to leave the school,” Ardalan said.

“There’s been no crime charged yet, no evidence put forward, and to throw out those allegations to one of the students that they have a responsibility to protect simply is not fair,” he said.

The first incident was reported on Sunday, May 12, when someone spray painted hate messages on walls at the school.

Then, three days later, students arrived to find a so-called “hit list” spray painted inside a campus restroom with the names of several black students.

School administrators apparently believe that at least one boy whose name was on the list engineered an elaborate scheme to make his campus appear dangerous.

He allegedly wanted to be able to transfer to another school and still participate in sports without delay.

“The determination has been made that there is no racial threat,” the school’s principal, Larry Misel, said in the wake of the incidents.

“Once we’re able to release what we believe to be what is really going on here, then it will be more understandable,” he said.

But the student’s mother said she was appalled by the insinuations made by school officials.

“I just couldn’t believe that they could try to accuse him of the crime when he’s the victim,” she said.

She has since removed her son from Agoura High.

“I didn’t want him to be ridiculed and accused and harassed becasue of all the rumors that have been spread by the administration,” she said.

“Since they’re not taking the racial hate crime seriously, they’re not going to find the real criminals and this will always be hanging over his head,” she said.

AGOURA HILLS, Calif. (KTLA) — A student upset with the athletic program may be behind racist graffiti found at Agoura High School, officials said on Thursday.

Twice over the last week, racially-derogatory graffiti was found plastered on the walls at the school.

The first incident was reported on Sunday, authorities said.

The graffiti was painted over before students showed up on Monday, and parents were not notified about what had happened.

Then on Wednesday, a so-called “hit list” consisting of five names — all African-American students — appeared spray-painted in a boys restroom.

Tensions rose and parents were upset, but on Thursday, there was a possible twist in the case.

The school’s principal, Larry Misel, said he didn’t believe the messages were racially motivated after all.

Authorities were investigating the possibility that the vandalism was actually an inside job orchestrated by a student or students named on the hit list.

At least one of those students was upset with the athletic program, a source told KTLA.

The student was apparently not being allowed to transfer to another school without penalty from the CIF, the governing body for high school sports in California.

CIF rules stipulate that a student must sit out for a year after transferring, unless there is an absolute and compelling need to transfer.

The student may have been trying to create the perception of a hostile environment at Agoura High School, officials said.

“What the evidence is showing us, right now anyways, is that it was purely a motivational thing,” Misel said.

School officials insisted that, based on the information they had, they believed the school was completely safe.

The investigation was ongoing. Authorities were working on obtaining surveillance video that might offer clues about the person or persons responsible.

A $1,000 reward was being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator.

Apparent hate graffiti discovered at a local high school might not have been racially-motivated after all, school officials said on Thursday.

 

AGOURA HILLS, Calif. (KTLA) — A reward was being offered as the investigation continued Thursday into racist graffiti targeting African-American students at Agoura High School.

Read more: http://ktla.com/2013/05/16/racist-graffiti-and-a-hit-list-stun-local-high-school/#ixzz2TUjJgfvx

AGOURA HILLS, Calif. (KTLA) — A reward was being offered as the investigation continued Thursday into racist graffiti targeting African-American students at Agoura High School.

agoura-hate-crime

This edited image shows some of the hate graffiti scrawled on the walls at Agoura High School.

The first incident was reported over the weekend when someone spray painted hate messages on walls at the school.

By Monday, the graffiti had been removed and students and parents were not informed of what occurred.

Then on Wednesday, students arrived to find a so-called ‘hit list’ spray painted inside a campus restroom.

The list included the names of African-American students who attend the high school.

Investigators asked school officials not to alert the public about the initial incident, Las Virgenes Unified School District Superintendent Dan Stepenosky said.

The decision was made because there were no specific names included in the graffiti, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.

After Wednesday’s incident, sheriff’s officials met with everyone named on the list to reassure them, and extra security was brought in on campus.

Additional patrols were planned at the school for the rest of the week, authorities said.

“This situation is really ridiculous,” said Sean Hill, a freshman at Agoura High, who was one of the students targeted.

“I never thought that anything like this would happen at this school,” he said.

“It’s really scary when your child is put on a list with other boys that are being targeted and also says that they’re gonna die,” his mother, Lorna Hill, said.

Hate crime investigators were offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to those responsible for the graffiti.

Anyone with information was asked to call the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station at (818) 878-1808.

AGOURA HILLS, Calif. (KTLA) — A reward was being offered as the investigation continued Thursday into racist graffiti targeting African-American students at Agoura High School.

Read more: http://ktla.com/2013/05/16/racist-graffiti-and-a-hit-list-stun-local-high-school/#ixzz2TTnkmZk6

Sheriff’s detectives were investigating two instances of racist graffiti at Agoura Hills High School.
Read more: http://ktla.com/2013/05/15/racist-graffiti-and-a-hit-list-stun-local-high-school/#ixzz2TPjekm75

Advertisement