A 16-year-old Visalia boy was arrested Monday in connection with social media threats to “blow up” Mt. Whitney High School in Visalia, police said.
Police were notified early Monday of the threatening messages, identified the suspect and arrested him Monday afternoon at his home, a police spokesman said. The boy was booked into juvenile hall.
School was not in session because of the Martin Luther King Day holiday, although some students were on campus to rehearse a musical production. District officials, however, did not know at the time there were students on campus and did not notify parents about the threat until Tuesday.
Parent Lori Quinzon, whose 17-year-old son is a Mt. Whitney High senior who attended the rehearsal, expressed concern that a threat to blow up the school could be made and administrators not know students were on campus.
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“Somebody needs to be aware if children are on campus,” she said.
The student actors were on campus from 9 a.m. to noon for the rehearsal.
The threat was reported to police at 9:06 a.m. Monday.
Tuesday, the school sent out an automated telephone message and an email to parents about the incident.
Jeff Hohne, area superintendent for the Visalia Unified School District, said the threat was made by “a young man who was angry with some kids.”
“The Police Department was on it quickly … it looked as if it was targeted at a few kids,” he said.
The Police Department was on it quickly.
Jeff Hohne, Visalia Unified School District area superintendent
The boy was arrested at 2 p.m.
The district worked closely with police, and there was no indication that the campus was in danger, Hohne said.
Because it was a holiday, no administrators were on campus, he said.