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Parents keep students home after threat at Battles School in Santa Maria

Posted at 4:30 PM, May 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-01 19:30:26-04

A Santa Maria third grader reportedly threatened to shoot other students at Battles Elementary School this week. 

Tanicesha Gonzalez says her 4th-grade son was present when the student said he would bring a gun to school Tuesday and shoot them.    

“I told my son, ‘do you think he meant it?’ He said, ‘I think he did, mom,’” Gonzalez said.

She says when she became aware of the threat, she immediately called police to file a report since it was after school office hours.

On Monday night, police reportedly contacted the student in question at their home and determined the threat was not credible. 

“After the investigation, after making contact with all the parties involved, including the parents and the kids, it was determined that there was not enough there to say that this threat could have been carried out,” said Sgt. Elijio Lara, Santa Maria Police Department.

An employee at Battles Elementary says four to five children were missing from almost every classroom Tuesday because many parents were scared to send their kids to school.

However, Santa Maria-Bonita School District Superintendent Luke Ontiveros says there is no immediate danger to the students and staff.

“We’ve investigated, contacted kids, re-interviewed children from the day before to make sure. You know, we don’t take these things lightly because safety is the main priority of any school site,” Ontiveros said.

Still, Gonzalez decided not to send her children to school.

“I’d rather them have an unexcused absence than to risk burying my child,” she said.

The superintendent was unable to say whether the student has been disciplined for making the threat.

Classes continued as usual Tuesday at Battles Elementary and will do so on Wednesday, as well.