Antioch school district: Threat to “shoot up” middle school made on social media

Informed of it by principal then sent notice to families Thursday morning; APD posts officers in front of school during morning drop off; security added to campus

“There was no merit to the threat” – Lindsay Lopez–Wisely, AUSD Director of Educational Services, Secondary Support

By Allen D. Payton

In response to a request for more information about the previously reported threat made against Dallas Ranch Middle School Wednesday night, Nov. 16, 2022, Lindsay Lopez–Wisely, Director of Educational Services, Secondary Support for Antioch Unified School District said the person who made the threat is a former Dallas Ranch student who now lives in Stockton.

“He said he was going to shoot up the school and take his own life,” she stated. “It was a chat between him and another student” currently enrolled in the Antioch school.

Lopez-Wisely also shared the following details about the incident;

“At 7 am this morning Principal Spires received a message from a parent regarding a threating Instagram post. The parent confirmed that the police were contacted late last night. Principal Spires then contacted me, and we immediately called the APD dispatch and they put us in touch with the supervising officer – Officer Hughes.

Officer Hughes worked with both Principal Spires and myself as we immediately investigated the source of the social media post. We discovered immediately that the post was from a non-student who had moved out of the area. We were able to reach a guardian and confirm the student was safe and did not have any weapons. APD worked directly with that police department and assured the district that there was no threat against the DRMS campus or students. They kept several officers out front as an added safety measure during morning drop off. We also placed additional security personnel (STM) to start the school day. We immediately notified parents on the Remind App about the situation.

This was a great example of parents, school administration, and our police department working together to keep our students safe. When any school stakeholder sees something suspicious on social media or anywhere in the community it is important to say something. We would like to thank the parent for acting quickly contacting police and administration.

Here is the Remind Message we sent out to families:

‘Yesterday evening, a former student decided to write a threat on social media.  A parent saw the post and immediately contacted Antioch Police Department and our Administrative team.  Through our immediate action and the swift APD response, we have verified that there is no viable threat. We would like to thank the Antioch Police Department and the parent who notified us.  Student safety is our top priority, out of an abundance of caution we will have additional officer support on the campus. As always if you have questions, please contact the school office at 925-779-7485.’

“It didn’t take us long to respond,” Lopez-Wisely explained. “We probably solved it within 30 minutes. We were able to confirm with his parent that he didn’t have a weapon. There was no merit to the threat.”

“Stockton Police Officers went to the (former student’s) house to do a welfare check,” she added.

“We really commend the parent of our student who identified the former student and called the police who messaged the principal,” Lopez-Wisely stated. “She contacted the former student’s parent and confirmed. This was see something, say something. It all worked out how it’s supposed to work. This is a perfect example of it.”

“We’ve really been working with the police department and training with our principals to respond to critical incidents,” she shared. “We’ve really worked in Antioch around the issue of safety. It’s our number one priority. We can’t do anything for our students and staff if they’re not safe.”

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