MUKILTEO — A 16-year-old Kamiak High School student has been charged with a hate crime for allegedly vandalizing a LGBTQ club’s bulletin board.
On March 17, the school resource officer was alerted to spray paint on the Queer, Straight Alliance’s bulletin board on campus, according to the charges filed Monday in Snohomish County Superior Court. While security cameras don’t directly show the board, footage does show students walking toward it.
One was the 16-year-old student, according to police. He was 15 at the time of the incident. The Daily Herald is not naming the defendant because he is a minor.
A school security specialist and the assistant principal took the student out of class. One reportedly asked if he knew why.
“Yeah, the spray paint,” he said, according to court documents.
The assistant principal asked what the student knew about that. He reportedly said he did it. Why, the administrator asked. He said he was against the LGBTQ community.
He later added he was against everything the community stood for. Exactly what he was referring to was unclear. The teen acknowledged vandalizing the QSA board on two prior occasions, according to charging papers. He then pulled out the red spray paint can from his backpack and turned it over to administrators.
The same student was also subject of another, unrelated investigation, according to police. Also in March, a student reported she was kidding around with some friends in class.
At one point in the conversation, she asked a friend about hating gay people. The friend pointed to the defendant, according to court documents. The student went over to the 16-year-old and asked if he was homophobic.
The teen said he hated “all the LGBT stuff,” police reported. He reportedly added that he would “shoot someone out of school if he saw that (expletive).” Two witnesses also reported hearing the comment.
While the school district can’t share details on student discipline, the district said in a statement that it “doesn’t tolerate destructive behavior meant to harass, intimidate or bully fellow students.”
“Any such incident is investigated and appropriate consequences are given,” the statement reads.
The 16-year-old is the second Snohomish County high school student charged with an anti-LGBTQ hate crime in the last few weeks. In late June, prosecutors filed charges against a Monroe High School student, also 16, alleging he assaulted a classmate and called him “gay.”