District explains how it investigates threats against schools

Olympian High most recent to receive threat
Posted at 6:46 PM, Mar 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-11 09:18:53-05

CHULA VISTA - The Sweetwater Union High School District said Thursday it and the Chula Vista Police Department quickly and completely investigated a potential threat against Olympian High School.

SUHSD Director of Communication Manny Rubio said the district received a report about a suspicious Tweet Thursday morning. That call turned into dozens of calls between the school, district, and Chula Vista Police.

“Literally a couple minutes, so literally within a few minutes law enforcement is told, they’re brought in,” said Rubio.

10News sat down with the Rubio to discuss how the district investigates threats against its schools. He said the district and its schools developed an extensive security plan shortly after the deadly school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

“It became a very real thing for us to have to take these threats seriously,” said Rubio. “We want to make sure that each student on our campus is safe, they’re happy, they’re secure.”

Rubio wouldn’t give specifics about Thursdays investigation at Olympian High School. However, he said police would work alongside the school and district to investigate any threat.

“Yesterday for example at Olympian, the sergeant was on the phone with our security advisor pretty much up until midnight last night.”

He said a vast majority of those threats are now made via social media.

“One of the things we have to assess is what’s really happening, what needs to be put out there, what needs to be known versus what is potentially ongoing,” he explained.

“By the time, let’s say, at the end of the day, when a letter comes home, from our perspective, it’s because we’ve done our due diligence,” said Rubio. “And we’ve come to the determination that with probably 99-percent accuracy, nothing’s going to happen.”

He added police and trained school personnel will meet with the student and his or her family. “We look at everything from what is their home environment like to ‘does this person have weapons at home?’”

Police and school staff will also speak with classmates as part of the investigation.

Olympian High School sent a letter home to parents Thursday night that said the threat to the school was “completely unsubstantiated.” However, several parents contacted 10News to say they were not satisfied with the lack of information in the letter.

Rubio said they do that on purpose.

“We want to make sure we’re protecting their safety, we’re protecting their privacy, and their family’s privacy,” explained Rubio. "We keep it to a point where we don’t directly want to implicate a student. We don’t want a student who unnecessarily gets grief over something that they didn’t do necessarily.”