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Local News

Deputies Plan Increased Presence at San Marcos High School Following Shooting Threat

Deputies plan to have an increased presence the remainder of this week at San Marcos High School near Goleta after threatening graffiti was found Wednesday in a bathroom stall, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

School administrators became aware of the graffiti in a girls bathroom at about 11:20 a.m. through an anonymous post on the STOPit reporting app, said Kelly Hoover, a sheriff’s spokeswoman.

“The graffiti message threatened a school shooting on March 9, 2018,” Hoover said.

The school notified the Sheriff’s Department, and deputies immediately responded to the campus to conduct an investigation, Hoover said.

“Sheriff’s deputies are working closely with the Santa Barbara Unified School District to identify the source of the graffiti,” Hoover said. “Numerous interviews were conducted today with students, but so far a source hasn’t been identified.”

Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 805.683.2724, or leave an anonymous tip by calling 805.681.4171 or through the website: https://www.sbsheriff.org/home/anonymous-tip/.

“While the validity of this threat has not yet been determined, the Sheriff’s Office takes all threats of school violence seriously,” Hoover said. “The Sheriff’s Office will increase patrols in and around the campus tomorrow and Friday.”

Wednesday’s threat comes on the heels of a January incident in which several San Marcos students allegedly posted threatening and derogatory comments directed at female students on a private internet chat room.

Authorities also said a threatening video was posted by a male student who appeared with an antique musket. 

Detectives determined at the time that none of the involved students has possession of, or had access to, functioning firearms or dangerous devices.

School and district officials came under some criticism for their handling of that incident, and San Marcos High School Principal Ed Behrens reportedly faces demotion in the aftermath. ​

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton 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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