■ By Kyle Selby / Reporter
A photo started circulating around social media on Tuesday, Feb. 27 of a disturbing message left on one of the bathroom walls of Hemet High School, describing a school shooting to take place on Wednesday, Feb. 28.
“Hemet High will be shot up on 2-28-18 by a sophomore girl the first on my list is Dr. Shaws b*** a** Don’t be in my way.”
The photo was photographed and shared by multiple students and parents Tuesday morning, and shortly thereafter, Hemet High School and Riverside County Sheriff immediately began investigating. The following passage is an official statement made by Hemet High School:
“We have been made aware of a threat to the school for February 28. We are working hand-in-hand with law enforcement to investigate the threat. While the threat has not been deemed credible we still take things like this very seriously. We will keep our students, staff, and parents informed as more information becomes available. Out of an abundance of caution, we will have additional law enforcement personnel on campus tomorrow. Thank you for your understanding and your support as we work together to ensure the safety of our students and staff.”
The response on social media (most notably Facebook) was immense. Several concerned Hemet High parents who were unwilling to take the risk, vowed that their children would not be going to school on Wednesday. Later on in the day, other parents whose children did go to school Wednesday were told by the students that their classrooms were sparse, ranging from totals of as low as four to nine students in a classroom at a time.
Hemet High School Principal Dr. Emily Shaw, who was directly called out as the first victim in the threat, could not respond by press time, however she sent a statement to KCAL9 News on Tuesday:
“Being directly mentioned is, of course, unsettling. However my focus is to ensure the safety of my students and staff.”
The threat comes just weeks following the horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were shot and killed by a former student with an assault rifle. In response, the entire nation has been on high alert for these types of warnings, whether they appear serious or otherwise. It is still unclear who left the eerie message. By the end of the school day, no students, staff, or personnel were harmed.