Man charged with hate crime against Monroe high school student

The man is the father of another high school student. He was recorded making targeted death threats and racist remarks towards the other student.

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

The man has been identified as William Cunningham, 39.

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

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

After the initial scuffle, the daughter approached the victim and allegedly showed her father the victim’s face during a video call. Cellphone video shows the father making death threats against the victim, saying “if I see you, I’ll kill you” and calling the victim racial slurs, according to court documents.

The video was widely shared via social media. The defendant later admitted to detectives that he had threatened to kill the victim and her father if the victim did not leave the teenager alone.

As Monroe police investigated the incident, they learned that the father and teenage daughter showed up at the victim’s workplace and followed him for 20 minutes, according to court documents, which resulted in the couple being banned.

The father is expected to be arraigned in Snohomish County Superior Court on January 19 by telephone.

The charges follow 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 on him to resign.

A teacher said KING 5 headteachers 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 the district is currently facing to help the board make informed decisions.”

Martha K. Merrill