Parents File Lawsuit Against School District for Negligence in Fatal Shooting at Hunter High School

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — The parents of two students killed in a shooting near Hunter High School in January 2022 have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Granite School District. The parents accuse the school district of failing to prevent the tragic incident and not taking action to address escalating conflicts between groups of students. The lawsuit alleges that the district violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by failing to provide a nondiscriminatory educational environment and allowing acts of racial harassment to occur. The parents are seeking unspecified compensatory, consequential, and punitive damages.

Paul Tahi, 15, and Tivani Lopati, 14, lost their lives when a 14-year-old shooter opened fire near the school. The shooter was sentenced to juvenile detention until the age of 21 after pleading guilty to manslaughter and discharge of a firearm. The parents claim that the school district was aware of violent clashes between Polynesian and Hispanic students but did not take appropriate action.

According to the lawsuit, parents had notified school administration and district police about the escalating violence on multiple occasions in the weeks leading up to the shooting. However, the district allegedly failed to properly investigate or address the situation, leading one student to bring a gun to school for protection.

The lawsuit further contends that the school district allowed a racially-charged and hostile environment to persist, resulting in the tragic deaths of Paul Tahi and Tivani Lopati. The parents argue that the district violated their children’s rights to equal protection under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

A spokesperson for the Granite School District stated that they are unable to comment on pending litigation. The lawsuit calls for justice and accountability, seeking compensation for the devastating loss experienced by the parents.

In conclusion, the parents of Paul Tahi and Tivani Lopati have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Granite School District, claiming that the district failed to prevent a shooting near Hunter High School that took the lives of their children. The lawsuit alleges that the district knew about escalating conflicts between students but failed to address them, resulting in a tragic loss of life. The parents seek compensation for the harm caused by the district’s alleged negligence and violation of civil rights.