Santa Barbara County – As if local area educators haven’t had enough bad news of inappropriate student activity to deal with (with more than 130 arrests at UCSB’s recent Spring Break “civil disturbance”), this week high school administrators were forced to respond to allegations that one of their students was using social media to perpetrate credible threats of violence against children.
According to Santa Maria Police Department Lt. Kim Graham, on April 9th law enforcement “received information of threats a Pioneer Valley High School student made on a social media network.” Once the threat was made known to school administrators, police were notified that Twitter messaging had been used to post “threats to children in the Santa Maria community.”
Police response was swift and decisive, as Pioneer Valley High—“home of the Panthers” and recently in the news for the arrest of their girl’s basketball coach on sexual assault charges—was immediately put on “school lockdown” while the situation was investigated.
Once the student suspected of transmitting the threats was identified and contacted, he was detained and interviewed at length by Santa Maria Detectives. Pursuant to that conversation and the evidence collected, the male student—who remains unidentified as a minor—was placed under arrest and transported to Santa Maria County Juvenile Hall, where he was charged with making terrorist threats.
When word of the school closure became known over various social media channels, significant numbers of Pioneer Valley High students engaged in public dialogue to support the arrested student…to no avail, as he remained in custody pending further investigation.
Santa Maria Times: Threat made over Twitter forces lockdown