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Attention LCC Parents: Important Message from Principal about Groping Suspect

The following is a safety message sent by Dr. Kyle Ruggles, Principal of La Costa Canyon High School.

Good morning, this is Kyle Ruggles, Principal of writing to let you know that we received a report this morning that one of our students was groped yesterday off campus in Encinitas after school by a young adult male not connected to the school. Police were notified and indicated that there had been similar reported incidents in that area yesterday. A suspect has been identified and police are actively searching for the man. The North County Times has identified the suspect as Zachary Alcantara, a 21 year old Hispanic male, about 5 feet 10, with a thin build as the suspect.

Because the suspect is still at large, we are informing parents and students so that they can be alert and take precautions. We are also recommending that all students stay on campus during lunch today.

Our school and the surrounding community have always been a safe place for students, but in light of this incident, we do want to remind students and families to utilize practices to ensure student safety. If you walk to or from school, do so with other students as there is safety in numbers, always remain cognizant of your surroundings, and always think about means of escape should trouble arise. We will discuss personal safety strategies with all students tomorrow.

Parents, if, in light of this incident, you want to drop off or pick up your student at school today, please do so at the front of school or in the tennis court area. All of these entry points will be open for student access and will be staffed by school personnel before and after school. Parents, I hope that you’ve already had a discussion with your student this school year about whether you want them to leave campus during lunch – this would be a good time for all families to revisit that conversation.

Finally, we recognize that this situation will cause many of our students to feel uneasy or frightened – our counseling staff is available to any student or family who need additional support. It is important that we not feed rumors, speculation, or hysteria as this only creates more fear and trauma for our students. We will continue to work with law enforcement to ensure that our students are safe and to provide students and families with updates. Thank you for your attention to this important safety announcement.

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