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Student convicted of painting racist death threats against himself, others at school

Racist graffiti targeting African-American students was found on the Agoura High School campus on Wednesday, May 15, 2013.
A former Agoura High School student has been found guilty of felony vandalism for writing racist, death threats on his own high school campus, according to Las Virgenes Unified School District Superintendent Dan Steponosky.

In May 2013, the student wrote several threatening messages all over campus. On the wall of the boy's bathroom, he wrote the name of five African-American students -- including himself -- with the words "first to die."

Several school officials with knowledge of the investigation told Eyewitness News the student was motivated by a desire to prove a "hardship" so he could transfer schools to play basketball somewhere else.

Under CIF regulations, if a student transfers schools more than once, he/she has to wait out a season. This particular student, a sophomore, had already transferred from Calabasas High School and would have had to sit out a year if he left Agoura High.

But, there is a so called "hardship" exemption. If the student could prove that it was unsafe for him to play at Agoura High, he could side step the one-year wait time.

Stepenosky said as part of his deal with the juvenile court, the boy was ordered to pay the cost to clean up the graffiti at AHS and was placed on probation for a year. He will also be required to seek counseling, take a trip to the Museum of Tolerance and write a reflective essay, according to Steponosky.

The student has since transferred from Agoura High.

"The perpetrator wanted to create a sense of campus unrest for self-gain," Steponosky said. "We now have the truth, and that person is no longer a student at Agoura High School. The appropriate discipline will be delivered."

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