Santa Barbara Junior High was put under lockdown on Thursday, May 12, around 2 p.m., after an altercation between two students escalated to a parent of one of the students entering the campus and approaching the other student.
The Santa Barbara Police Department (SBPD) responded to the notification of the lockdown. The initial report made to SBPD stated that following an altercation between two students, on the same day, a parent of one of the students had approached and threatened the other student. The names of both students have been withheld for privacy reasons.
Parents are required to check in before entering a campus, and according to the district’s chief of communications Nick Masuda, “the parent was able to approach the student, as they did not follow check-in protocols.”
After police arrived and an investigation began, the police on scene determined that the “juvenile accompanying the parents was the aggressor and the parents did not make the reported threats,” according to a police report provided by SBPD. The student accompanied by his parents was also referred to the Santa Barbara County Juvenile Probation Office, which will investigate the student’s alleged offenses — including threatening to commit a crime that would result in death or great bodily injury, making threats near or on school campus, and creating a disruption with the intent to threaten the immediate physical safety of a student — and determine whether the student will be criminally charged.
The district has referred the two students to a crisis care specialist team to address their individual needs, though the boys have not begun the restorative process, which often involves an adult overseeing a face-to-face interaction with the students. Masuda said this process cannot be required or forced, and the district must be sensitive to the fact that one of the boys was the victim, not wanting to cause any further trauma.
The district would not comment on whether the student alleged to be the aggressor in the incident faces any disciplinary actions from the school, such as suspension or expulsion. Likewise, the district would not comment directly on the actions of the parent in this incident, but Masuda said when a parent’s actions are inappropriate or dangerous, boundaries must be set. “In the most extreme cases, that can include involving law enforcement and banning the parent(s) from the school campus,” he said. “Restorative actions occur when trust is rebuilt over time by the parent.”