Carlsbad School Received Threat Just Before Newtown Shooting: District

Police presence increased at district campuses after officials learned of threat

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Just before the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday, one local high school learned of a student planning to bring a weapon to school the following week.

    Officials from Carlsbad Unified School District confirmed Carlsbad High School received a report that a student had threatened to bring a weapon to school on Friday December 21 and “cause harm.”

    No other details of the threat were released by the school district, but officials said they are currently working with law enforcement, mental health professionals and administrators to respond to the threat.

    The school officials say they don’t have reason to believe the student has means to act on the threat.

    As a precautionary measure, the Carlsbad Police Department has increased its presence on campus. Parents were also notified of the threat.

    “We remain in close contact with this student’s family and with local authorities to determine the appropriate next steps while ensuring our campus continues to remain a safe environment for students,” said Carlsbad High School Principal Matt Steitz said.

    Steitz added that due to a federal privacy law, they will not release the name of the student who made the threat or any additional information on their investigation.

    “All threats or potential threats are taken seriously and investigated,” said District Superintendent Suzette Lovely in a statement.

    Lovely tweeted just after 2 p.m. Tuesday that “All is well on CUSD campuses.” Lovely also tweeted on Friday that police were on all district campuses Friday “In light of [the] CT shooting.” She made no mention of the threat the district heard about earlier that morning.

    The district has seen tragedy of its own at one of its elementary schools. In October of 2010, Brendan O’Rourke hopped a fence at Kelly Elementary School in Carlsbad and fired a .357 as children ran for cover. Prosecutors in the case claimed O’Rourke, who had filled his pockets with bullets, intended to kill as many kids as possible. He was sentenced to 189 years to life in prison.

    Since that shooting, the school district installed perimeter fencing at elementary and middle schools, according to the district’s website. The schools also have an entry process and regularly practice lockdowns to keep the campuses safe.

    All schools in the district remain open this week.