By Sgt. Tony Morefield #3320, Antioch Police Investigations Bureau
At approximately 10:43 a.m., this morning, the Antioch Police Department responded to a bomb threat at Deer Valley High School. Officers responded and conducted a thorough search of the campus with Deer Valley High staff. Nothing was located. School staff made the decision to evacuate the campus while the search was being conducted, but the school has since resumed normal operations (as of 1:24 p.m.). At this time, this case appears to be unrelated to the bomb threat called in yesterday; however, both incidents are still under investigation.
One parent of a student at the high school, who was visiting the campus for the Every 15 Minutes program, stated in an email to this paper, “school made some kind of announcement today that if another bomb scare is reported that the school will be closed for w weeks and be made up at the end of the school year.”
UPDATE 4/24/13. 10:00 AM – According to Superintendent Don Gill, last night, know that there were no active or inactive bombs found on campus. But they did trace the call to a throw-away phone they found on campus. It’s a felony and considered a terrorist threat to make such a call. So the student who did so will be expelled and face charges.
In response to rumors that both inactive and active bombs were found by a bomb tech on campus, Dr. Gill responded.
“It’s not true that any active or inactive bombs found. I would have been called by Principal Ken Gardner or the police,” Gill stated. “We would never, ever withhold that kind of information. That needs to be out.”
“It’s a felony to make these kind of threats. It’s considered a terrorist threat under California law and extremely disruptive to the school,” Gill added. “If it’s a student they will be expelled and they will be turned over to the police. It’s serious stuff. It’s not a prank. We have to take the threat seriously.”
Police were able to trace the call back to the campus, but it came from an unidentified number, probably from a disposable cell phone.
Following is the automated phone message sent out to parents of students at Deer Valley High:
“This is an auto-dialer message sent Tuesday evening, April 23rd from Mr. Gardner, Principal of Deer Valley High School.
For the second day in row the school received a vague and anonymous bomb threat via telephone. We have reason to suspect that this may have been called in by a student believing this to be a simple prank. Please help us in communicating to your child that such calls are considered terrorist threats as defined under California Penal Code. A false threat is a serious crime and, if convicted, the individual will be liable for all costs incurred as a result of the threat. Additionally, the student will face mandatory expulsion per the California Education Code. Currently, we are working with the police to identify the caller or callers but, in the meantime, I wanted to make sure that all of our students are aware of the seriousness of making such a call. We will also be communicating this message with all students tomorrow via DVTV.
Before ending this call I want to sincerely thank our parent community for their outpouring of support during this difficult time. Overall parents were very understanding of our inability to release students prior to receiving the all clear from police and we have received a number of calls offering support. As always, please do not hesitate to call our office should you have any information, questions, or concerns.”
There is nothing further at this time.
Allen Payton contributed to this report