Update: San Diego Unified Police identify student suspected of making false threats on social media against four district schools
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The San Diego Unified School District police department identified a student Friday who is suspected of posting false threats against four schools on social media following the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida.
District police identified a seventh-grade student who attends a San Diego Unified school as the suspect two days after social media messages started appearing on Facebook and Snapchat that warned of a potential shooting at Creative Performing Media Arts Middle School, Madison High School, San Diego High School, and the School of Creative and Performing Arts.
School Police immediately investigated the potential threats and quickly determined they were non-credible. However, out of an abundance of caution, School Police sent additional officers to the campuses named in the postings this week.
On Feb. 21, the district was made aware of an anonymous social media post, involving two schools: Madison High School and Creative Performing Media Arts Middle School. On Feb. 22, a similar message was posted that added San Diego High School and the School of Creative and Performing Arts to the list of schools.
The post stated, in part: “Biggest shooting in history on its way. San Diego’s on its way to join the trend. Be ready ha!”
School Police determined that the threats were non-credible after interviewing the student.
“These types of comments are no joking matter, and they come with consequences. There are consequences in terms of student discipline, and there are consequences in terms of unnecessarily increasing anxiety and fear in the community,” said Michael Marquez, district police chief.
The student was apparently inspired by similar false threats of school violence posted and reposted on social media nationwide in recent days.
Superintendent Cindy Marten commended School Police for its ongoing commitment to keep schools safe and secure for students and teachers.
“The safety and security of our students is the district’s top priority. Our School Police work with educators every day to ensure that they have a safe learning environment,” Marten said. “School safety begins at home with establishing a foundation of communication with your children. Talk to your children, monitor their social media and engage in dialogue about the consequences of their words and actions.”
The case is still under investigation by the district, which will consider whether or not to recommend formal charges and determine disciplinary action.