Families of Slain Hunter High School Students File Lawsuit Against Granite School District for Negligence in the Face of Racial Harassment

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – Two years after the tragic shooting of two Hunter High School football players, their families are pursuing legal action against the Granite School District and administrators. Tivani Lopati, 14, and Paul Tahi, 15, were part of a group of mostly Polynesian students who had been involved in conflicts with a mostly Hispanic group at the school. According to the lawsuit filed in federal court, school administrators were aware of the escalating dispute but failed to adequately address the situation. As a result, one student felt the need to bring a gun to school for protection. During a lunch hour, Tahi and Lopati were shot and killed, while another student, Ephraim Asiata, sustained injuries but survived after extensive medical treatment.

The parents of Lopati and Tahi argue that the school district’s inaction after being informed about the racially-charged harassment and discrimination against Polynesian students violates their sons’ rights under the 14th Amendment. The lawsuit claims that the school district denied their sons equal protection based on their race. The conflict between the two student groups had reportedly been ongoing for months before the shooting, with the parents informing school staff and district police about the fights and incidents of violence. However, the lawsuit asserts that the district failed to respond adequately, continuing to perpetuate a racially discriminatory environment.

In addition to the allegations of discrimination, the lawsuit also claims that the school district did not adequately train its staff on responding to reports of racially-charged discrimination, harassment, and violence, as well as the treatment of students based on racial stereotypes.

The Granite School District has stated that it has not had the opportunity to review the lawsuit and therefore cannot comment on the pending litigation.

This tragic incident has once again highlighted the importance of addressing and preventing instances of discrimination and violence within educational settings. The families of Tivani Lopati and Paul Tahi seek justice for their sons and hope that their legal action will lead to changes that will ensure the safety and equal protection of all students. The impact of this shooting on the community and the need for comprehensive measures to address racial tensions in schools cannot be understated.

In summary, the families of Tivani Lopati and Paul Tahi have filed a lawsuit against the Granite School District and administrators, alleging wrongful death and discrimination. The lawsuit claims that the district failed to address the escalating dispute between two student groups, leading to a tragic shooting that took the lives of Lopati and Tahi. The parents argue that the district’s lack of action violated their sons’ rights under the 14th Amendment and perpetuated a racially discriminatory environment. The district has stated that it cannot comment on the pending litigation. This case serves as a reminder of the importance of tackling racial tensions and ensuring the safety and equal treatment of all students in educational institutions.