School Shooting Threat Locks Down Tehachapi High School
6:46 AM, Mar 27, 2009
The Tehachapi Police Department said they were first notified of the school shooting threat around 3 p.m. Thursday. Immediately, they said they treated it as a real threat, not a hoax.School officials said the Tehachapi Police Department was able to trace the e-mail back to an Antelope Valley College student, a former student at Tehachapi High School.Superintendent Richard Swanson said he heard it from another student at the college.What he had heard, was that there was going to be a shooting incident at a high school in Kern County, said Swanson.Parents of Tehachapi High School and Jacobsen Middle School students were notified of the threat via Teleparent Thursday night.Friday morning the high school was on lockdown during first period.Swanson said, "We had a very effective response....we were able to go into our first period without affecting class time, we were able to search all the backpacks and clear the campus.School officials said they did find a pocket knife in one backpack, but nothing to support the original threat.One student we spoke to said the experience was surreal.It was weird. I mean I am not used to everyone searching my bag. Its normal for an airport and stuff, but for a small community like Tehachapi it was really surreal almost to say, said Tehachapi High School student Amanda Wright.School officials said there was extra security around the school, but otherwise it was back to normal."We'll be letting the juniors and seniors exit campus for lunch like they typically do, the only difference is that we will have security at the gates inspecting their backpacks as they come back in," said Swanson.Police said even though there were no incidents Friday, they still take the threat seriously.Sgt. Wyatt Empey with the Tehachapi Police Department said, "Fortunately, as youre well aware, probably 90 percent of the time it turns out to be bogus, its someone who thinks its a joke, and its not. But we are not going to take it as a joke, we are going to take it very seriously because its the children of our community and you never know.The Tehachapi Police Department is still investigating the threat, if you have any information, you are encouraged to call the police at 661-822-2222.