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Updated: Carlsbad High Takes Student's Threat of Violence at School on Dec. 21 Seriously

The student has not been on campus since last Friday and the school is in close contact with this students’ family as well as the local authorities, stated Principal Matt Steitz in an email sent out Tuesday.

Updated Dec. 20 at 9:25 a.m

The following is from the City of Carlsbad Police Department emailed to Patch on 12/20/12:

Upon investigation, the City of Carlsbad Police Department found no evidence of an actual threat to the school.  The police department did the following:

1.       Carlsbad police became aware of the rumors on December 17 at 9:22 a.m.

2.       We took the rumors very seriously, met with the school administration and evaluated the situation.

3.       We interview numerous students, the student in question and the student’s parent.

4.       We found no evidence of a threat to the school.

5.       We are continually monitoring the situation and will take whatever action is necessary to ensure the safety of the school.

The following is a school messenger message from the Superintendent December 19th

Good Morning Carlsbad Unified Parents. This is Superintendent Suzette Lovely providing you an updated report about recent questions and concerns that have arisen in the aftermath of the CT school shooting.

Last Friday, our world was shattered as we learned of the unthinkable events that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School. As we continue to watch these events unfold in the media, our worries about the safety of our own children have continued to mount.

Rumors, social media chatter, and threats (both real and perceived) all contribute to these growing worries. One recent threat made by a student at Carlsbad High School has been particularly unsettling to us all. This threat was isolated to the high school and has been fully investigated with the assistance of law enforcement and mental health professionals. We have been assured by the Carlsbad Police Department that the student who made the threat has neither the intention nor means to act upon it. The student is not in attendance at school this week.

As your Superintendent, I want to reassure our parents that schools, particularly our schools in Carlsbad, remain some of the safest places in America. Your children’s teachers, principals and support staff are trained to react quickly and calmly to even the remotest sign of trouble.

The Carlsbad Police Department continues to maintain a visible presence in and around our campuses, and in particular at Carlsbad High School. We have no reason to believe any of our schools or students are in harm’s way. Therefore, all schools within CUSD will stay open for the remainder of the week, including Friday.

We will continue to keep families informed of any new or updated information through our District Webpage, twitter and Facebook.

I appreciate and applaud you as parents for the way you are helping your children process and move past the terrible events that happened in Connecticut.

Happy Holidays to all of you and may we find things to be joyful about in the ensuing Holiday Season.

The following was sent to CHS and CVA families on Dec. 18 at 10:30 a.m.

Dear Carlsbad High School and Carlsbad Village Academy Communities,  

I  am sending you this message to make our parents and surrounding communities aware that our administration, law enforcement and mental health professionals have been working together to respond to a threat that was made by  a CHS student prior to Friday’s Sandy Hook school shooting. Specifically, we have received reports the student told others he would cause harm on Friday, December 21st.

First, I want to reassure our CHS and CVA families that this student has not been on campus since last Friday. Second, we continue to remain in close contact with this students’ family as well as the local authorities to determine the appropriate next steps, while ensuring our campus continues to remain a safe environment for students. Third, because of Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) laws, we are unable to disclose the identity of this student or release additional information about our investigation.

Our administration will continue to follow the Education Code and work with local authorities, school psychologists and mental health providers to address any additional threats that may surface in the aftermath of this tragedy. We appreciate the vigilance of our students and parents in reporting any suspicious statements or activities they may learn about. All threats or potential threats are taken seriously and investigated by the school administration. 

In the wake of this recent threat, we have asked for and been granted a greater security presence from Carlsbad Police Department in the ensuing days to help  everyone feel more secure.   What occurred last Friday in Connecticut has affected communities across the nation. 

Thank you for the reassurances you are provided to your children during these troubling times.  

Dr. Steitz

The following is a statement from the Carlsbad Unified School District posted on the district website on Dec. 18:

On the morning of December 14, 2012, prior to the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, Carlsbad High School (CHS) in the Carlsbad Unified School District (CUSD) received a report that a student had threatened to bring a weapon to school on December 21, 2012 and cause harm.

CHS administration, law enforcement and mental health professionals are working together to respond to the threat. There is no reason to believe the student has the means to act on this threat. However, as a precautionary measure, the Carlsbad Police Department has increased its presence on campus to help students, staff, and the community feel a greater sense of security. Carlsbad High School Principal Matt Steitz, Ed.D. has notified CHS families of the threat and assured them that keeping the campus safe and secure is the school’s number one priority.

Dr. Steitz explains, “We remain in close contact with this student’s family and with local authorities to determine the appropriate next steps while ensuring our campus continues to remain a safe environment for students. Because of Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) laws, we are unable to disclose the identity of the student or release additional information about our investigation.

District Superintendent Suzette Lovely, Ed.D., states, “We appreciate the vigilance of our students and parents in reporting any suspicious statements or activities they may learn about. All threats or potential threats are taken seriously and investigated. The Sandy Hook incident has shaken communities across the nation. Thank you for the reassurances you are providing to your children during these troubling times.”

All CUSD schools will continue to remain open this week. For more information on Carlsbad Unified School District, visit carlsbadusd.k12.ca.us, friend CUSD at facebook.com/carlsbadunifiedschooldistrict or follow Superintendent Lovely at twitter.com/suptlovely.

Are you planning on keeping your child home from school on Friday? Tell us in comments.

Tamarack Aztec December 19, 2012 at 04:23 PM
The kid should be in juvenile hall pending a public hearing. If his father threatened to kill him during a moment of frustration in front of a police officer, dad would face felony charges for making terrorist threats, it happens routinely in domestic cases. Why can a 17 year old kid who believes himself to be a demigod born of jesus and the devil threaten to kill fellow students and not he held accountable? He knows exactly what he is doing (getting some attention finally) and any assertion to the contrary is absurd because every 10 year old knows they can stop any adult dead in their tracks with a quick allegation of abuse or violence - and it works because: a) hard working adults know they can't undo such an allegation; and, b) even if false, the taint on a persons character can unravel a careers, families, and communities. they enforce pen knife bans on a zero tolerance basis, are proud of it, and the punishment quite public. Apparently threatening to kill your fellow students gets you a free pass and complete privacy. Baloney.
Margaret Pate December 19, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Yes. absolutely. Unless this individual has been found by Thursday afternoon, I am not taking the chance of placing my child in harm's way. Even with increased security, there are ways to get around them, and a kid with nothing to do but think of ways to get in, it is possible.
Yvette Valencia December 19, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Well said! My child will be at home trying to enjoy the beginning of the Holiday break free of fear and surrounded by love.
M Clark December 19, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Totally agree!
hollyinsd December 19, 2012 at 08:54 PM
I am absolutely keeping my children home! In light of other security issues in conjunction with this incident, I am certainly not the only parent keeping their children home. My students feel threatened & I will be keeping them safe at all cost. The security at the high school has major opening loop holes & is not fully secure. There was more than one student involved in the threat, ask any student. Why wouldn't I keep my kids home & safe this one day of highly threatened security.
Aviara December 19, 2012 at 11:43 PM
Just let it be known that the student won't be at school Friday. He is currently in the hands of the law enforcement and psychological specialists. Don't let me effect your decision, but please know that our local officials have handled the situation just as they should and we should give them large credit for it being handled so well.
Stephanie Pauley December 20, 2012 at 01:04 AM
Sorry that's not good enough....I'm keeping my son home and when I call the attendance office to report his absence, I want to be assured they don't count him absent.
Stephanie Pauley December 20, 2012 at 08:20 AM
Aviara, isn't that La Costa Canyon High School?
sassysally10 December 20, 2012 at 11:24 AM
No, Aviara kids go to CHS too.
Concerned Village December 24, 2012 at 05:26 AM
People, Friday was only 1 day of the many days left during their schooling years! It has become apparent that threats are common and unfortunately been carried out all over our country! So if the banks have armed security guards to protect our federally insured money, why not have armed guards protect what is really important....OUR CHILDREN!!!
gdogncbd2 December 26, 2012 at 10:00 AM
its wrong for this person to make a statement of this type,but if the facts you have listed are even halfway close to why he did this,alot of these kids claim demon pocessed or satan worshippes ect.,ect. due to to its away to rebel against home settings,and most parents dont know how to deal with a teenager that is normal let alone one who acting out in this manner.when i was a kid in high school we didnt even have anything close to incidents like what goes on campus' nowdays.schools lost their focus on educating,and now have to treat students like its a secured and monitored area when they attend classes.how do teach a student to keep focused on trying to learn and gain knowledge when schools have incidents like a low level prison may have.its hard enough just to try and enjoy your youth and have a somewhat pleasent high school atomsphere for which you shouldnt have to ever worry or come under any issues like this.all is does is distract a kids mind which is already distracted with growing up issues and does not need unnaturals events thrown into their daily lives.
sm2smtoo December 26, 2012 at 11:08 PM
Wow, I feel that the piece in the Lancer Link “Attendance Apocalypse Plagues CHS” badly missed the point and was strangely condescending given the events of two weeks ago in Connecticut. Why was this was this an unprecedented day in the history of CHS attendance? Because never in its history has a self-professed Grandson of Satan with a posse of devout followers vowed to earn his way into hell by saving CHS students the anonymity of death in an apocalypse in favor of slaughtering them himself in a self-aggrandizing orgy of bullets and blood. To suggest that the vast majority of parents condoned staying away from school because we somehow lack the willingness to preserve the quality of our child’s education is laughable. What’s abhorrent is blood soaked classrooms and seeming random nature of events like this … because things like that just don’t happen in communities like ours … yet in this week we had if not clinically credible, nagging forewarning. On the heels of a similarly deranged individual slaughtering 26 in a small town in Connecticut I’d have thought we’d read more of the sorrow, empathy and fear I’ve seen in kids like the small circle of CHS students I know. Just sayin

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