ELLA JENSEN & MATTHEW DUSETTE
Editor in Chief & Staff Writer
Around 12 AM this morning, a threatening video was posted on Instagram that left students worried for potential violent acts at San Marcos. Administration and the SB Sheriff’s Department clarified that the post was a misunderstanding and was not a threat. A SM senior admitted to creating the Instagram account with no intention of imposing harm.
The most recent video is vague but clearly shows the main hallway in the dark along with a freeway overpass. In the caption, the Instagram says “stay tuned,” causing worry among viewers. Other videos feature some students walking in the hallways with special effects.
Concerned students shared the video and warned their friends to not go to school. By the start of first period, most SM students had been informed of the suspicious post and threat.
ASB president Cristo Anderson contacted admin early this morning warning them of the post. On the “The Pride 2015-2016” Facebook page, Anderson reported that the police deemed the report false. However, Anderson and administration encouraged students and parents to do what they felt was safest whether that be going to school or staying home.
“Sheriff was contacted and determined there was no credible threat,” said Activities Director Aaron Solis in a video post on San Marcos social media. “We remain in close contact with law enforcement; School is in session.”
A school wide staff meeting was held before 8am this morning where admin informed faculty that police are investigating but believe SM is safe.
The student responsible was detained and removed from campus. He claimed that the posts are part of an art experiment and we have been informed that he will not face charges.
On his personal Instagram account he issued an apology to parents and students, “I take full responsibility for the backlash of the g_eist account. I am regretful that it has caused the rumors of a school shooting and the stress of many concerned parents/students. Although the account had no evidence of a threat I’m sorry that most people interpreted it as one. I made those videos specifically to have an eerie vibe, not a threatening one and it was my mistake to leave it up to the public for interpretation, especially under an anonymous account name and during this day and age… I apologize.”
Although is was never clearly stated in the posts he would commit an act of violence against the school, it was insinuated by the caption used for his posts, “Stay tuned.” That is the same phrase used by Elliot Rodgers, the man responsible for the mass shooting in Isla Vista, in the end of his video. He also posted a picture of a dove in flight, a symbol used for remembrance of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, with the same caption, “Stay tuned.”
A statement made on the San Marcos Facebook page said it was safe to return to school, but attendance today was very low. Both the Senior and Junior parking lots were less than half full and many classes had single digit attendance. It is clear that whoever made those Instagram posts scared many of the students.
All of this came as San Marcos was observing “Say Something Week.” Throughout this week students are taught to look out for suspicious posts on social media that might be warning signs for dangerous actions at or around school. The students at San Marcos didn’t need any teaching, the posts were reported almost immediately. While this threat carried minimal weight it is good to know that the responsible students at San Marcos are willing to speak up when they see something.
Though this threat was harmless, it provoked fear in students, parents, and teachers. The student was taken into questioning and reprimanded for his actions. SM administration and the SB Sheriff’s Department will continue to protect San Marcos and its students and they will take any other threats very seriously. Students should continue to be wary of any suspicious social media posts that allude to shootings or other violence at school.