Six high school students in Santa Clarita were detained on felony criminal threats charges Wednesday and taken to a juvenile detention center after authorities were alerted to threats the teenagers had made online.
A William S. Hart Union School District staff member discovered the social media posts “regarding committing acts of school violence” and alerted authorities, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Detectives and deputies quickly investigated and determined which young people had made the posts, according to the agency.
The Sheriff’s Department said in a news release Thursday that there’s no current threat to students, staff or schools in Santa Clarita regarding the posts.
“Our detectives and school resource officers are spending a lot of manpower researching, identifying and interviewing the subjects, because how do we know that we are not dealing with the next active shooter?” Sgt. Brian Shreves, who oversees the station’s unit that investigates juvenile-related crimes, said in a statement. “We don’t know, so when kids make thoughtless comments to one another either verbally or through text messages, we take it very seriously.”
The students were taken to Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall in Sylmar, where they remained housed, the department said.
Shreves said parents need to talk to their children about social media and make sure they know “any kind of threat they put out there is not a joke.”
“Oftentimes in these situations we hear from the suspect that the alleged threat was just a joke,” he said. “There is nothing funny about threatening violence, and the consequences they face, including jail time, restitution and a criminal record, are all very serious.”