SANTA FE — The Española Public Schools Superintendent cancelled classes at Española Valley High School Wednesday after threats were made at a crosstown charter school late Monday.
Superintendent Bobbie Gutierrez made the call Tuesday night as a safety precaution after a McCurdy Charter School student made a threat at the smaller school that spread to EVHS, according to Española Police Department Officer Jeremy Apodaca.
Apodaca said an administrator at McCurdy emailed police Monday to report that a message which read “Do not come to school Tuesday October 6 if you want to live” was written on one of the stalls in the boys bathroom.
Police then responded to EVHS early Tuesday morning after an unidentified 911 caller said there was an active shooter at the high school, prompting to be temporarily put as a shelter in place. Apodaca said the call may have come from a concerned parent or student and may have been “spillover” from the incident at McCurdy. He said it appeared that any threat of violence was contained at McCurdy.
There were also reports of a threatening web posting.
Apodaca said panic may have been caused by students and parents sharing inaccurate information.
“It appears to be negative rumors that spread like wildfire and took off,” Apodaca said. “It was a harmless thing with stupid words chosen by kids. It appears that there was no direct threat to students and staff, but we take threats like this very seriously.”
Still, there was enough concern for Superintendent Gutierrez to shut down EVHS Wednesday “after careful consideration and a lengthy conversation with the investigating officer,” according to a statement posted on the district’s website that was later removed.
“At the current time, we do not have any reason to believe any of our elementary schools or our middle school is in danger, and all schools, other than the high school, will be on a regular schedule on Wednesday,” Gutierrez added in the statement.
Apodaca said police have a person of interest in the case, a student who has been suspended by McCurdy, but investigators have yet to make contact with that student. Police were patrolling both schools Wednesday, and Apodaca said Española police, State Police and the Rio Arriba and Santa Fe county sheriff’s offices ramped up patrols in Española and the surrounding areas and will continue to do so in the coming days as a precaution.
A volleyball game between EVHS and Los Alamos High School was played in Los Alamos Wednesday night instead of Española.
Classes were cancelled at Española Valley High School today (Wednesday, Oct. 7) because of a shooting threat posted on social media. The school had been placed on lockdown Tuesday after officials first learned of the posting.
A statement on the school district’s website says that Superintendent Bobbie Gutierrez made the decision to cancel Wednesday classes at the high school Tuesday night, after talking with police.
The statement said that early Tuesday morning, “the school learned of a threat on social media about a potential shooting at EVHS. Police were able to determine that the student that made the threat attends a neighboring school; however, at this time they have not been able to complete their investigation.”
KOAT reports that a parent told police an Instagram post said there was going to be a shooter on campus and that police said the threats originated at McCurdy Charter School. Officials at McCurdy emailed police to report someone found graffiti in the bathroom Monday that said if students wanted to live they wouldn’t come to school Tuesday, says the KOAT report.
Investigators later discovered a student contacted state police Monday night to say another McCurdy student posted a threat on Instagram that there was going to be a shooting Tuesday, and it had the words “RIP Guys” in it. according to KOAT. The student believed to have written the post was suspended.
The Española Schools statement says that “law enforcement advised the district to either institute a lock down or school closure” for Wednesday.. “After careful consideration and a lengthy conversation with the investigating officer,” Gutierrez made the decision to cancel classes for today, the statement says.
“At the current time, we do not have any reason to believe any of our elementary schools or our middle school is in danger, and all schools, other than the high school, will be on a regular schedule on Wednesday,” Gutierrez said in the statement.
Parents are advised to check the Española Public Schools website for the latest information at www.k12espanola.org