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Santa Monica Schools Take Precautions After Perceived Threats

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By Lookout Staff

December 7, 2021 -- Santa Monica High School opened on Tuesday and provided counseling to students disturbed by a threatening post on social media, District officials said.

Across town, St. Monica's School shut down Tuesday in an abundance of caution after a Northern California school with the same name was the target of a student threat.

At Samohi, the student who posted the threat on Snapchat remained out of school as District officials "pursue our disciplinary process" and the Police Department investigates the case, District officials said.

Police on Monday searched the student's property, vehicle and residence and found no weapons or "other criminal related items," police officials said.

The Department also increased patrols in the area of the campus "out of an abundance of caution," police officials said.

"We understand that students and parents were fearful today and we can not emphasize enough how student and staff health and safety are our top priorities," Supt. Ben Drati wrote in an email message to the community Monday night.

"We were confident that school was safe today or we would not have kept school open."

Drati said the District's mental health services staff, school psychologists, outside support agency partners and other support staff is "working with many students and families during this difficult time.

"We recognize that more are struggling and need support," Drati wrote.

Samohi wasn't the only local school on alert this week. St. Monica’s School decided to cancel in-person classes Tuesday after false rumors spread that the school had been targeted.

It turned out the threat had been aimed at St. Monica’s School in the Elk Grove in Northern California by a student there and had nothing to do with the local school.

According to Drati, Santa Monica police "further investigated social media rumors around lunchtime at Samohi that used the original St. Monica’s social media post to alarm students at Samohi.

"This was also determined to not be a credible threat," Drati wrote.
Drati noted in his email that "this has been an extremely difficult year for everyone -- for teachers, students, families and our staff.

"The stress and anxiety of still being in a pandemic, along with last week’s tragic school shooting in Michigan has worn many of us down and heightened concerns across the country," he wrote.

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