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Racist graffiti, threats found on Agoura High School campus

May 15, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Hate crime investigators were called to Agoura High School after racist graffiti targeting African-American students was found on campus.

Investigators are looking into the possibility a student or a former student is responsible for the shocking messages in an area known as one of the safest communities in the country.

Racists slurs were found all over the campus Sunday morning. School officials immediately painted over them and didn't alert parents about the messages. But inside a campus bathroom on Wednesday, new racist slurs were found with specific targets.

Astrid Kastenberg said her son was one of several African-American students on what she called a "hit list" inside the bathroom. She is angry the school painted over Sunday's vandalism without telling her about the racism.

"We didn't hear another word until today," said Kastenberg.

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

"The decision was made at that time not to notify all the parents because there was no specific names over the weekend," said Lt. David Thompson with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Once they saw the names, law enforcement officials met with everyone on the so-called hit list and tried to reassure them.

"We feel based on our evidence that we don't have an immediate threat to anyone, which is why the campus was not evacuated or locked down," said Thompson.

The hate crimes division is now investigating the first racist graffiti incidents on campus all year.

"They are entirely antithetical to our values, our character and what we believe in," said Stepenosky.

Investigators are reviewing surveillance footage and extra patrols will continue at the school. A $1000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect.


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