Fear over reported gun and knife threat at San Diego middle school

Posted at 6:44 PM, Feb 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-21 12:12:53-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The mother of a San Diego middle school student is begging for more answers from school administrators after she says other students threatened to shoot and stab her son.


“I’m not willing to play Russian roulette with my kid’s life,” states Vanessa Flores. In a 10News exclusive, we interviewed her and her thirteen year-old son, Daniel, at their home on Tuesday. She says she pulled Daniel out of downtown’s KIPP Adelante charter middle school on Tuesday morning. It was two weeks ago when Daniel says he got in a fight with a couple of students. He says over their lunch break they were saying, “What are we going to do with Daniel? Are we going to jump him? Let’s jump him. Let’s bring the gun.” Daniel tells us he them heard one of them add, “The gun’s too much. Let’s bring the knife.”


Vanessa showed us text messages that she says she exchanged with the school’s principal the night of the incident. She says she later met with administrators. “I just wanted the authorities to be contacted and made aware of the situation,” she adds.


For days, she says her family could not get clear answers about any action the school was taking.


 With tears in his eyes, Daniel described for us the anxiety he felt in the school hallways in the days following the alleged threats. “I’d think, what’s the next move? What are they going to do to me when I pass by the hallway? What do they have or what are they hiding?”


“I’ve told [the school] that I’m in fear with the climate right now with all these shootings. Everybody’s talking about red flags. I’m giving [the school] the red flags on a silver platter. Please help me,” says Vanessa.


On Tuesday, she says she picked Daniel up the from school after getting confirmation from school administrators that KIPP Adelante would not get the San Diego Police Department involved. She tells us she no longer felt safe keeping him on that campus. After picking him up from school, she says she took him to the San Diego Police Department to try to file a report. San Diego Police confirm with 10News that there was a misunderstanding that she was referring to a charter school and not a regular San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) public school. She says SDPD sent her to SDUSD school police, which don’t handle investigations related to local charter schools. The SDUSD school police apparently sent her back to SDPD. SDPD confirms its officers took a report on Tuesday afternoon and now the juvenile service team is investigating the reported threats.


On Tuesday afternoon, KIPP Adelante charter school principal Monique McKeown sent us the following statement.


“Two weeks ago, we had an 8th grade student report that two of his classmates threatened to harm him with a weapon. We fully investigated the matter and found no credible evidence that the students in question threatened to use a weapon against their classmate. San Diego Unified Police Services confirmed that we handled the investigation appropriately. At KIPP we respond swiftly to all potential threats to student safety.


The referenced "San Diego Unified Police Services" is also known as SDUSD school police.


A spokesperson for KIPP Adelante later clarified that SDUSD school police did not conduct its own investigation. Rather, it apparently reviewed and approved the school’s own investigation.


The spokesperson for KIPP Adelante also reported that the teens who made the apparent threats are still students at the school.