Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station officials are asking residents to be mindful of what they post online after they’ve had to investigate two dozen school threats in the week since the Saugus High School shooting.
In a statement released Thursday night, officials advised residents to think about the serious consequences of making a fake or “joke” threat online or through in-person casual remarks.
“In the aftermath of tragic shootings, there is often an increase in hoax threats to schools,” said station spokeswoman Shirley Miller in the statement released at 8:41 p.m. “Safety is paramount for our students, and our station’s detectives and deputies respond to each and every threat they are made aware of, conducting a thorough assessment.”
Miller said statements are taken very seriously by law enforcement officials, and they can lead to consequences for both community members and for the perpetrators. The threats, according to officials, can cause severe anxiety for students and parents, and threats can lead to kids being charged with a felony.
“We take each threat seriously. We investigate and complete a thorough assessment to determine its credibility,” said SCV Sheriff’s Sgt. Brian Shreves of the station’s COBRA team. “Detectives spend countless hours conducting interviews, doing extensive research, meeting with school administrators and doing home checks.”
In addition to the 24 threats COBRA has had to investigate over the last week, three Santa Clarita students (from elementary school to high school-age) were detained on criminal charges. Two of them were referred to appropriate resources, Miller said.
“If you see a threat of violence directed towards our schools posted on social media, contact the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station at 661-255-1121,” said Miller in the statement. “Notify us, but don’t share or forward the threat until our detectives have had a chance to investigate — this can spread misinformation and cause panic.”
“If you are a parent, talk to your child about the importance of responsible social media use and the consequences of posting hoax threats,” Miller added.