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Wednesday, November 21 , 2018, 11:26 am | Mostly Cloudy 66º


Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department Determines School Threat Posed No Risk

After investigating a threat made earlier this week on social media related to Goleta Valley Junior High School, authorities have determined the post posed no safety risk, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

Santa Barbara Unified School District first sent out an email announcing that a threat had been made on Tuesday evening — nearly 24 hours after a parent reported the possible threat to the Sheriff’s Department, according to district spokeswoman Barbara Keyani.

At approximately 5:45 p.m. Monday, a concerned parent of a Goleta Valley Junior High School student contacted the Sheriff’s Department to report their child had seen a Snapchat threatening school violence, sheriff’s spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said.

Deputies responded immediately by visiting the juvenile's home.

"While the post was concerning, it was determined that there was no immediate threat to the school campus," Hoover said. "The Sheriff’s Office is working with the Santa Barbara Unified School District and the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office to ensure the safety of students and staff.

"The Sheriff’s Office takes all school threats seriously, and works closely with the involved parties to fully investigate each one." 

Keyani said deputies informed administrative school district staff about the threatening message on Tuesday morning.

On Wednesday, Keyani said the district was confident in the department’s investigation and conclusion that no safety issues existed.

“Had students/staff been at risk, the matter would have been handled accordingly,” she said.

Hoover said the Sheriff’s Department wanted to take the opportunity to remind students that threats — verbal or written — can lead to criminal prosecution and serious academic consequences.

"The Sheriff’s Office also wants to compliment the student in this case who saw the threatening post and reported it right away, which is a great example of how 'if you see something, you should say something,'" she said.

"The same is true for parents, who we encourage to monitor their child’s social media sites and to not hesitate to report suspicious posts right away." 

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff 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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