Escondido Charter Students to Return to School After Shooting Threat

On Tuesday morning, Escondido Charter School students will return to campus for the first time since a shooting threat closed school last Friday.

More than 200 parents and students came to the high school Monday night to ask questions and voice concerns, especially because the person who made the threat on the school is still out there.

At the meeting, police and school administrators told the crowd they've done everything possible to make the three charter campuses safe.

“I thought we got a lot out of it. I feel confident that nothing is going to happen and they are handling it well,” parent Denise Gibson said.

Last Friday, the five Escondido charter schools on three campuses were closed. Police say a specific violent threat, including time and location, was made in an anonymous teen chat room.

“It really impacted people in a way that I can't take back,” Escondido Police Lt. Neal Griffin said.

Authorities initially linked the threat to a minor in Escondido. However, they later determined someone else had been impersonating that youth.

Griffin says the person whose name was associated with the threat is as much a victim as anyone.

“Is it a form of cyberbullying? Yeah, I suppose it is,” he said. “It’s a kind of ridiculous identity theft. It's got some of those overtures.”

Griffin says the real person responsible does have a local connection.

The crowd was told to expect a greater police presence and extra staff on Tuesday. Investigators are counting on students to their eyes and ears where police are not.

“They'll take that extra step of maturity, not think of it as ratting them out but theoretically saving lives,” junior Cameron Johnson said.

Parents NBC 7 spoke to left the meeting feeling reassured.

“I can send my son to school, yeah,” parent Nancy Medieros said.

Griffin says this chat room that promises kids anonymous postings may make it harder to get to the person responsible, but not impossible.

Police remain confident the suspect will be caught and prosecuted.

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