Earlier this month, a California teen wrote a script about raping and killing girls and teachers at his school. He handed it to one girl, a proposed victim, and smiled when she tore it up. He said he had another copy on his phone.
The 15-year-old boy imagined a real-life version of the horror movie The Purge — in the film, starring Ethan Hawke, all crimes are legal for an annual 12-hour period. The boy set his story at Scotts Valley High School, located north of Santa Cruz, and reportedly named 21 classmates and four teachers he would rape and kill.
On June 2, during finals week, he handed the handwritten pages to a 15-year-old girl in his class. It apparently read like a script, unfolding in acts, and opened with the boy heading to a teacher’s classroom, stabbing a student in the throat, and stabbing the girl (to whom he gave the letter) in the eye and killing her.
The plotlines become more brutal as he roams the school with a knife, raping several classmates and a teacher, and duct-taping some girls’ bodies so they can’t escape. “Take your clothes off, or that will happen to you,” he wrote. “We can do it the easy way where both of you do it willingly or the hard way where I tye [sic] you up and rape you … I told them, ‘You can struggle all you want, that just makes me want to [****] you more.’”
When the girl ripped up and threw the pages in the trash, the boy smiled. He said he kept an extra copy on his phone. Later, she went back for the shredded script, pieced it together, and showed it to the principal the next morning. Principal Valerie Bariteau said she’d share the case with the school’s police resource officer, who spoke with the boy and his father. According to a lawyer representing the girl and her family, the boy’s house wasn’t searched.
He was reportedly suspended but allowed to return to school to take his finals in a separate room. The room had a glass wall, so the girl had to walk past him at least three times a day, knowing he could see her. School ended on June 8.
The girl and her parents claim the school didn’t properly respond to the incident or adhere to its sexual harassment policy. They plan to pursue a restraining order, while other parents are upset the school didn’t do more to protect students during the final days of school.
Initially, when approached by the Santa Cruz Sentinel, Principal Bariteau seemed to dismiss the case: “It has been addressed, there has been an investigation with the police and it was determined that it [the outcome] was OK,” she said. The school’s director of student services wouldn’t comment on if the script was a violation of the sexual-harassment policy, if the boy would be suspended, or if a hearing would take place to consider expulsion. Then, after the newspaper approached more school officials, the district issued a statement announcing an active investigation and contacted students who were named in the letter to meet and discuss their safety.
On Tuesday, the Scotts Valley Police Department reportedly shared a report with the Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office, which will review the case and decide if charges will be filed against the boy. Parents plan to meet and discuss other solutions before the district’s next school board meeting on June 28.