Palisades High School has an active shooter drill that students are familiar with—they lock themselves into classrooms and do not come out until the all-clear is given.
But, what if a situation occurs during nutrition or lunch time, when students are gathered on the quad?
Around 10 a.m., Circling the News heard a PaliHi PA announcement that urged students to stay on campus. At the same time, CTN received word from a parent, whose student was on campus: “Mass student exodus at Pali, now.”
According to reports to CTN from several students who had left the campus, it was rumored that a shooting was possible. The rumor reached critical mass during nutrition – and with the recent Michigan shooting still fresh in everyone’s minds, students started streaming off the campus.
Students standing on a street corner away from the school spoke to CTN and said that Hollywood High and Santa Monica had been closed down today because of threats (neither were closed). They said there had been a gun fight at Fairfax High last week.
CTN asked the PaliHi students if anyone had actually seen a photo of a threat on social media for their school. One student showed a photo of an unidentified teenager who reportedly had been looking at exits or entrances around the school.
When asked if anyone had actually seen a direct threat or a threat with a gun or ammunition, the answer was no.
One student said they were told that if anyone wanted to leave because they were scared, they could. They were told to go to the attendance office and get a pass—but that the lines were too long.
CTN spoke with several students who were so scared, they were shaking. Parents were driving up to the front of the school to pick up students, even as four police cars were parked there. Two additional school police cars pulled up within the next 15 minutes.
PaliHi Principal Pam Magee sent a note to parents shortly after 11 a.m.:
“We at PCHS understand you and your students are concerned about potential threats to PCHS. Please be aware there have been no credible threats to our campus. There have been rumors among students regarding social media posts. Some social posts have commented on a rumored threat to the school. All information has been reported to LAPD. The police continue to work with PCHS to investigate and monitor the reports. School is open as usual. Extra security is present on campus as a precautionary measure.
“Please encourage students to report any concerning observations to the Tip Line (text or leave a voicemail: 310-570-6111), an administrator, or any trusted adult on campus.
“We are NOT encouraging students to leave campus; however, should you wish to pick up your student, the attendance office is processing these requests. Phone lines are busier than normal, so it is possible your call will not be answered. Please be patient if you are planning to come to campus to pick up your student. Students will only be released to an adult who is listed on the official emergency card.
“We understand these are concerning times with much happening in the world around us. We appreciate your patience and support as we work to keep our school community safe.”
The Westside Current reported today: “Two Santa Monica high schools were under police investigation Monday after threats were made on social media.
“Santa Monica High School and St. Monica’s High School both dealt with online threats Monday morning, but no violence occurred at either location,” the Current reported.
“At Samohi, a student made threats against the school on a private Snapchat account. The post included pictures of guns atop a pizza box and the text “I’m done talkin’ to you …” followed by a racial slur.
SamoHi Principal Dr. Antonio Shelton sent the following message to parents. “The school security team and I met with the student at the 7th and Michigan gate,” he said. “The Santa Monica Police Department met with me, the parents and the student to conduct an investigation regarding the threatening photo. The family was cooperative, and the residence and car of the student have been searched. The student has been removed from campus and the appropriate discipline measures have been taken.”
On Sunday evening, Hollywood High officials were also concerned about a possible threat and KTLA 5 reported, “Reports of a possible planned school shooting at Hollywood High School were also circulating online, according to an Instagram post from Hollywood High’s Students Demand Action Group.”
The school’s principal said the threat was not deemed credible, but that there would be additional law enforcement on campus Monday morning.
“For the time being, this is an active ongoing investigation from L.A. School Police and L.A.P.D. is collaborating with additional support in the investigation. No further comment at this time,” the principal’s statement read.
A PaliHi parent wrote, “I still don’t understand why they couldn’t have detained the student in question and those who posted on social media who may have claimed they saw a gun at some point.”
CTN contacted Magee for comment but had not received anything at Post time. If something is received the story will be updated.