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Man charged with felony hate crime against Monroe High School student

The man is the father of another student at the high school. He was recorded making targeted death threats and racist remarks at the other student.
Credit: zef art - stock.adobe.com

MONROE, Wash. — The father of a Monroe High School student is facing a felony hate crime charge after making targeted death threats and racist remarks toward another student at the high school.

The man was identified as 39-year-old William Cunningham.

The charge stems from an incident at the high school on Nov. 10, 2021, where a white female student racially taunted a Black student during an altercation, according to the Monroe Police Department. 

The victim and the teenage daughter had a confrontation in the school parking lot following an incident earlier in the day where the girl allegedly shoved one of the victim's friends in a school hallway. Video of the confrontation shows the daughter's boyfriend and the victim shoving each other, according to court documents. 

After the initial scuffle, the daughter went up to the victim and allegedly showed her father the victim's face on a video call. Cell phone video captures the father making death threats at the victim, saying "if I see you, I'll kill you," and calling the victim racial slurs, according to court documents.  

The video was circulated widely via social media. The defendant later admitted to detectives that he threatened to kill the victim and his father if the victim didn't leave the teenage girl alone. 

While Monroe police were investigating the incident, they learned the father and teenage daughter showed up at the victim's workplace and followed him around for 20 minutes, according to court documents, resulting in the pair being banned from the premises. 

The father is expected to be arraigned in Snohomish County Superior Court on Jan. 19 via phone. 

The charges come following allegations of racism and discrimination in the Monroe School District. Superintendent Dr. Justin Blasko was placed on administrative leave by the school board in December after teachers, parents and students called for him to resign.

One teacher told KING 5 school leaders looked the other way when students targeted other students.  

The district previously said it plans to hire a third-party investigator to "gather facts about certain situations currently facing the district to help the board make decisions in an informed matter."

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