Santa Monica High School and St. Monica’s High School both dealt with online threats Monday morning but no violence occurred at either location.
At Samohi, a student made threats against the school on a private Snapchat account. The post included pictures of guns atop a pizza box and the text “I’m done talkin to you …” followed by a racial slur.
SMPD officers searched the student’s home, property and vehicle but did not find anything criminal. Officers said the student did not take the photo used in the post and that neither the student nor his family own guns of any type.
Samohi Principal Dr. Antonio Shelton sent a message to parents Monday morning.
“The school security team and I met with the student at the 7th and Michigan gate,” he said. “The Santa Monica Police Department met with me, the parents and the student to conduct an investigation regarding the threatening photo. The family was cooperative and the residence and car of the student have been searched. The student has been removed from campus and the appropriate discipline measures have been taken.”
School continued Monday and Shelton said SMPD did not feel the student posed a threat to the school community. However, some students voluntarily left campus and parents said they are unhappy with the way student concerns about the incident were handled.
“I definitely was freaked out, because there was no other information other than just the stuff that I’d seen (on social media), and even though I didn’t know the guy, it’s creepy,” said Graham Slater, a sophomore at Samohi who left campus at his parents’ behest.
Mandana Yamin, a mother of a sophomore at Samohi chose to pick-up her son and was displeased that parents were not notified of the threat sooner.
“He told me this morning he was like ‘mom my friend called me and told me to be careful at school today, because he said there’s somebody that is going to come to school with a gun’ … and then he went to school and then I got nothing from the school, which is really annoying,” said Yamin.
Yamin picked her son up at around 10:30 a.m. and was rattled by the incident
“I find this type of incident really disturbing… really not something I would expect in Santa Monica at all. I expect this in states where they have open carry laws,” said Yamin.
Also Monday, the Santa Monica Police Department was made aware of a possible threat to St. Monica’s High School posted on social media, however, that case originated as a threat against at Elk Grove High School in Northern California.
At some point, text was added to the Elk Grove threat that referenced “St. Monica’s” and school officials then contacted SMPD regarding the incident.
“Out of an abundance of caution SMPD has increased patrols in the surrounding area and maintain in close contact with school staff,” said SMPD in a statement.
The threats follow a recent school shooting in, Oxford Township, Michigan, a community of about 23,000 people roughly 30 miles north of Detroit that left four students dead and six other students and a teacher wounded.
Ethan Crumbley has been charged as an adult with murder, terrorism and other crimes in the attack. And McDonald filed involuntary manslaughter charges against his parents, saying they failed to intervene on the day of the tragedy despite being confronted with the drawing and its disturbing message.