SAN MARCOS, Calif., -- A number of parents told San Marcos school officials Tuesday that they want administrators to err on the side of caution even when school shooting threat is ultimately deemed not credible.
Monday night parents got a message from the superintendent that said investigators were looking into social media rumors of a planned shooting at the high school. After hours of investigating, the superintendent tweeted that the threat was not credible and the images detectives found were related to a recent arrest in South Carolina regarding a school shooting threat. The district decided to increase security at the high school Tuesday, but many parents, including Tammi Weenig, still did feel comfortable with sending their kids to school and kept them home.
“It was really good that they followed up this morning to let people know that they had been investigating through the night. I’m sure they worked really hard to get down to the truth of it, but I mean it was really beyond their control that so many parents and students were so anxious and nervous to go to school,” Weenig said.
“These are strange times and they seem to get stranger,” San Marcos Superintendent Melissa Hunt said.
At Tuesday night's school board meeting Hunt spoke about the last 24 hours and the response.
“At the end there was no threat, but the experience will better prepare the sheriff’s department, the school and the city to prepare for the future,” Hunt said.
Hunt read a letter from a captain at the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, in which he said he would "gladly repeat the past 24 hours 100 times than have an actual school tragedy occur without warning." The captain also said he was proud of all the parents and students who saw something and then said something.
At the meeting, a parent applauded the district and law enforcement for their response but said he hopes more is done in the future. In situations like this, he asked for even better communication if possible, more law enforcement presence and maybe even bigger steps to be taken.
“We closed school for the Lilac Fire. We allow kids to stay out of school because they're afraid of things like DACA, or because we don't agree with the president that just became elected, but today we were asked to send our students to school, and unfortunately if you don’t have all the information, I don’t know if that is the right call to be making," the father told the school board.