Tuolumne, CA – A Summerville High School student was taken out of class today after threatening to shoot up the school.
Calls from several parents to Clarke Broadcasting regarding a voice mail message sent out by the school’s Superintendent Michael Merrill alerted parents to the incident and prompted our inquiries. Principal Kellene Ditler detailed what happened, “We received information from a teacher that a student had made a comment. Unsure of the reason behind the comment, said, ‘I’m gonna shoot up the school.’ Those were his words.” She continued, “We immediately began an investigation and contacted law enforcement, which is protocol. He was isolated and searched to assure that there was nothing that would cause our students to be unsafe on his person, and there was not.” Ditler adds that Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Deputies conducted a threat assessment and the investigation is ongoing.
Below is the school message statement sent out by Superintendent Merrill to parents:
“Good Afternoon Summerville High School Community:
“This is Michael Merrill with a message about a comment that was made in one of our classrooms today where a student out of frustration at another student said, “I am going to shoot up the school.”
“Our safety protocol in this situation dictates that we isolate and search the student, contact law enforcement to question the student in order to conduct a threat assessment to determine whether the student has means or motive to carry out the threat. That process is being done at this time.
“Although the student understands the mistake that was made and is highly remorseful, the safety of all of our students and campus community is our number one priority. We will always err on the side of caution to make sure our students know our campus is a safe place to be.
“Our students were never in danger due to this comment but may feel uncomfortable that the comment was made.
“Thank you for continually talking with your student about the impact that our statements can have on them, the school and our school community.”