By Jose Herrera & Rylee Holwager
Signal Staff Writers
Just hours after Canyon High School was briefly locked down on Wednesday while sheriff’s deputies searched for a teen suspected of threatening his mother and stealing her car, parents and school board members discussed the challenges of protecting student safety both on and off campus.
Joe Messina, William S. Hart Union High School District governing board president, addressed the board and attendees during Wednesday’s meeting regarding the 15-year-old teenager who was detained at Canyon High School earlier the same day, after stealing the car and threatening his mother, according to law enforcement reports.
“I want to (say) thank you to our Sheriff’s Department for how quickly they acted,” Messina said. “The people that reported it, and it was within minutes that they were all over this person.”
It was initially reported that the teen might have had a gun. However, upon further investigation, deputies reported that they did not locate a firearm on the suspect or in the stolen vehicle, according to Sgt. Bengtson of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.
During public comment, a parent said maintaining student safety is a “tough subject” and agreed with the board that it’s a topic that is “constantly changing.”
Parents in attendance also noted the off-campus incident near Rio Norte Junior High School the previous day. In that incident, a video of which went viral on social media, a man is seen fighting with a junior high school student in the parking lot outside the Havana Savannah coffee shop.
Parents at the board meeting voiced agreement in wanting the Hart district to take action regarding off-campus safety, too, as they said incidents are happening on the way home from school.