DA mulls case against Saugus High ‘hoaxer’ – School also takes stock of lockdown procedures

Saugus High School

The case of the Saugus High School 11th-grader who allegedly perpetrated a hoax at the school last Friday – spreading the rumor of an armed student, and leading to a brief lockdown — is now in the hands of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office.

Meanwhile, school principal Bill Bolde told The Signal that while the lockdown went smoothly, he was busy Monday debriefing school staff, with an eye toward taking stock and improving areas that could have gone better still.

“The small details need to be even better than they were on Friday,’’ Bolde said.

The alleged hoaxer, a male whose identity is otherwise being kept confidential because of his age, was charged with creating a disturbance on a school campus, a misdemeanor.

He was issued a citation and released to his parents later Friday, Det. Sgt. Dan Peacock of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s station said Monday.

Peacock said the District Attorney’s office could pursue the charge or send the matter back to the Sheriff’s Department – which then, typically, would put the case in the hands of the city’s teen court system. The DA should have a decision on the matter by next week, Peacock said.

Bolde said the student was back in class on Monday and that school officials were, “working with that family to put him in the best position to put this behind us — that’s first and foremost.’’

Saugus High went into lockdown about 10:30 a.m. Friday, and the Sheriff’s station posted a notice on Twitter saying it was “rumored that a student was armed.’’

Sheriff’s officials said that, after deputies were dispatched, it was quickly determined that the rumor was not true, and that there never was a threat.

Sgt. Brian Shreves of the Sheriff’s Department said the student “didn’t want to go to fifth period.” It was not clear if the rumor started by social media or by word of mouth.

At 10:48 a.m., the lockdown was lifted and the Sheriff’s station posted on Twitter, “Campus is safe.”

During the lockdown, classroom doors were locked and barricaded with chairs, windows were closed and locked, and students and staff huddled in corners, Bolde said.

In the aftermath, Bolde said, the school was addressing several areas where the lockdown could have gone smoother – such as, in the future, making sure substitute teachers are better aware of particular school procedures.

He also said some loudspeakers were found to be “not working very well,” slowing students from getting information, and that some hardware on doors was found to be not as secure as its could have been.

In addition, construction crews working on a new theater on the campus were not in the loop regarding warnings, which could have made them potential targets for a shooter, he said.

And, Bolde said, when word spread on social media of the lockdown, many parents descended on the school – which was the exact thing not to do.

“When a school is on lockdown, you stay away or you could become a target,” Bolde said.

“I stand by the fact that we did a pretty good job,” Bolde said, “but we still can do better.”

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