Santa Maria High School parents were pulling their children from classes this morning after becoming aware of two separate social media posts, one of which was a picture of a student brandishing a handgun. That post, reportedly on Snapchat, was allegedly made by a 12th grader, according to Kenny Klein, public information officer for the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District. “I’ve been telling parents there’s no threat, no reason to pull your son or daughter out of school,” he added. Santa Maria Police Department [SMPD] personnel said no arrests were made and no criminal negligence was found. Kline had no details regarding the second post, except that it was made by a 9th grader. Both students are male and minors, he added.
“Early this morning, the district was made aware of a social media post that depicted a student with a handgun and the caption ‘F_ _K it!’” according to a statement by Superintendent Dr. Mark Richardson. “Local law enforcement was contacted to investigate. The SMPD located the individual responsible for the posting and is dealing with the perpetrator accordingly. The weapon in question was identified as a replica BB gun pistol. Regardless, the district and law enforcement take all of these matters seriously and will take appropriate legal and disciplinary action.”
The district is composed of four high schools, with a fifth under construction. Santa Maria High School has more than 2,500 students. “At all our high schools, we bring in outside groups to present responsible use of social media — the dos and don’ts, and the law and how it relates to [students],” Klein said.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated to correct the spelling of Kevin Klein’s name and also that the district is not the largest in the area.