More than 100 parents gathered inside an auditoritum at Cesar Chavez Middle School in Oceanside Tuesday night to express their concern after a student who made a school threat was released from juvenile hall just two weeks before the start of the 2016-2017 school year.
The former student from El Camino High School was arrested in May, 2015, accused of threatening violence on the campus. Oceanside Police detectives found body armor, replica guns and handwritten notes that they described as threatening in the then 17-year old student’s bedroom.
He was found guilty and charged and served time for making threats.
According to the Oceanside Police Department, he has been released but is under the supervision of the San Diego County Probation Department.
But the Oceanside Unified School District says since he is no longer in custody, they want parents to be informed about his release as schools will resume on August 15.
Meetings are being held this week at various school campuses in Oceanside to inform parents about the steps the district is taking to ensure kids’ safety.
Superintendent Dr. Duane Coleman says she is the one who made the decision to give out the information regarding the student.
"I did it as a parent because I think as a parent, I would want my school district to give me this kind of information," Coleman said.
NBC 7 spoke to a parent who attended the meeting Monday night at El Camino High School.
Rick Camacho says he is glad he went but there were still a lot of unanswered questions.
"Because it's very easy to know that ‘okay they're guarding a specific school that was a threat’,” he said. “Okay, but normally people don't go for the hardest target. They go for the easiest target and that's the schools basically, like where my kids are going."
Jesse Puffenbarger told NBC 7 that she is now hestitant to send her kids to school.
"You're sending your kids to school and it's uneasy. You never know what's going to happen with kids," she said.
The Oceanside Police Department says there is no active investigation and they don’t have any information to suggest current threats or any criminal activity.
But one parents says, she’s happy to hear that the district is still taking precautions.
“I think we should always, you know, act as if they are gonna do it and try to take whatever precautions we can,” said parent Amanda Hadden.
The district does have a permanent restraining order against the former student.
Here is a list of meetings being held this week:
- Aug. 3, 6 p.m. at El Camino High School
- Aug. 4, 6 p.m. at Oceanside High School