Saugus High School
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A brief lockdown at Saugus High School on Friday morning – when it was “rumored that a student was armed” – turned out to be “hoax” perpetrated by a student “who didn’t want to go to fifth period,” a Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s station deputy said.

The student was being detained and faces a charge of creating a disturbance on a school campus, said Sgt. Brian Shreves of the Sheriff’s Department.

Sgt. David Shoemaker said the student is a male 11th-grader who lives in Valencia. The charge is a misdemeanor.

The student was still being held Friday afternoon and was either going to be released to his parents or sent to a detention center later Friday, Shoemaker said.

He said no further information would be available until Monday.

Saugus High went into a brief lockdown from about 10:30 a.m. until 10:48 a.m. when it was “rumored that a student was armed” but the rumor “turned out not to be true,” the Sheriff’s department had said earlier Friday.

At 10:48 a.m., the Sheriff’s Department announced on Twitter, “Lockdown at Saugus High has been lifted. Campus is safe.”

Shortly after, an email to parents from Williams S. Hart District Union High School District said: “We want to let you know that an incident occurred on campus prompting a lockdown at Saugus High School. The lockdown has been lifted and all students and staff are safe. All classes are back to normal and there is no need to pick up your students.”

#Saugus High, reports of student with gun promoted a brief lock down. @SCVSHERIFF now saying campus is SAFE. Fast response from #LASD pic.twitter.com/wouyhZSwfj

School principal Bill Bolde said that, during the lockdown, classroom doors were locked and barricaded with chairs, windows were closed and locked, and students and staff huddled in corners.

ADVISORY: Lockdown at Saugus High has been lifted. Campus is safe. #LASD #SCV

Saugus High School put on lockdown as precaution. Rumored that a student was armed. Turned out not to be true. Lockdown LIFTED. #LASD #SCV

Lt. Bryan Aguilera of the Sheriff’s Department said the initial report of a possible threat came from a sheriff’s deputy on campus, after hearing rumors from “two or three” students of a “possible armed student.”

Aguilera said deputies were dispatched and “were able to quickly determine that it was an unsubstantiated rumor — not even a rumor, a series of little pieces of information which led up to nothing, but were a misinterpretation of events by students.’’

“There was never any threat to students, never any weapon on campus,’’ he said.

Aguilera said deputies “located the students who may or may not have been involved (in reporting the rumor), and got to the bottom of it.’’

The situation became “something more than it was,” he added.

“It was largely a great opportunity for the Sheriff’s Department and the school to practice, and it went exceedingly well,’’ Aguilera said.

Said Bolde: “Everything went perfectly. It was a perfect opportunity for us to practice what we do every semester. It was just one of those things – there was a credible threat, we went into lockdown. The teachers did everything we asked them to, the students performed beautifully.”

Bolde would not comment on specifics of what led up to the threat but did say, “We will deal with any actions that any kid has made. … We’re certainly not finished with what needs to be done. This is going to be a long day.’’

He added: “The details are going to stay in-house with the Sheriff’s Department and the (school) administration. We will debrief our entire staff next week about what took place.’’

Student response to the lockdown on social media was varied, but many stated they were thankful everyone was OK. A sampling:

“Saugus is on lockdown right now. Possible suspect with a gun. I’m safe, but scared.”

— ?️‍?✊??️‍? (@BlakeJackson42) November 18, 2016

kkenney@signalscv.com

(661) 287-5525

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Kevin Kenney
Over 30-plus years, Kevin Kenney has been a writer and editor for United Press International, the New York Post and Fox Sports, among other outlets. He joined The Signal in 2016.
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