Local law enforcement, Homeland Security, and the FBI are all on alert this week after Rio Americano High School employees discovered threats of a school shooting. The threats warned the violence could happen as early as Tuesday...Teachers are reporting large numbers of absences in their first classes of the day so the bad guys have succeeded in disrupting school for days. I told kids that instruction, quizzes, and tests will go on as planned in my classes and their absence from instruction will not get them out of any assessment.
Rio Americano Principal Brian Ginter sent parents messages reassuring them about the investigation, stating in one web post: "Safe Schools has done a threat assessment on this situation and feels there is no evidence that it is a credible threat. With that being said, we are still taking it seriously."
It's still unclear who made the threat and why, but the warnings were discovered the same day students mounted a peaceful protest over an incident involving student Dejza Boyd-Tanner. She said a vice principal grabbed her, slammed her against a desk, and took her to the ground. The sheriff's department said the student started the confrontation, and the administrator was just trying to restrain her. Students at the protest objected to Boyd-Tanner's suspension, but investigators can't say if the threats of a shooting were related.
A former student of mine is subbing today. A few months ago he was in West Africa in the Peace Corps but had to come home because of the ebola breakout. Of course all the local news outlets wanted to interview him, and this morning (as I was commenting on the newsvulture trucks out front) he told me how he got so frustrated with how they reported his story--they would cut/paste from the interview to give the spin that they wanted, whether or not it was what he was saying--that he eventually told them he'd do no more such interviews; the only format to which he'd agree was to sit down in a studio live and tell and tell his story. Of course none of them took him up on his offer.