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Local News

Search Warrants Served Over Threatening Chat Posts Involving San Marcos High Students

Authorities obtained and executed three search warrants related to the investigation into several San Marcos High School students who allegedly posted threatening and derogatory comments directed at female students on a private internet chat room.

Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office detectives said the comments are vulgar and may rise to the level of criminal threats. A disturbing video was posted as well.

The information will be submitted to the District Attorney’s Office for further review to determine if criminal prosecution is warranted.

The posts were brought to the attention of San Marcos staff on Jan.  19, following a minimum day of school. School administrators immediately reported the case to the Sheriff’s Office, which then began an investigation.

Authorities said a group of male students listed a group of female students and posted derogatory and vulgar descriptions about them. A threatening video created by a male student with what appeared to be an antique musket was also posted.

Detectives have determined that none of the involved students is in possession of nor do they have access to functioning firearms or dangerous devices.

The video did not specifically target any particular student or the high school. Authorities did not suspect an immediate threat to the students or the school.

The school notified the families of the female students included in the posts.

The Sheriff’s Office worked with school administrators to identify the group of students responsible for creating the posts and the student who made the video.

The Santa Barbara Unified School District identified the students on Jan. 22, and an unknown action was taken.

In response to the posts, community group PODER issued the following statement:

“We call on the school district to accept the fact that this is not going to go away or be swept under the rug,” according to the statement. “ Rape culture and violent toxic masculinity are alive and well at SMHS and it is past time the adults do their part to change that in a thorough and ongoing way.

"We call on the parents, staff, and students to take action. In doing so you will not only be acting on behalf of your own children but for a safer community now and in the future.”

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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