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Parents of Righetti High School students on edge following cryptic social media threat

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Posted at 7:04 PM, May 27, 2022

On Thursday evening, the Santa Maria Joint Unified School District sent an email to parents letting them know about a threatening social media post regarding a high school with the initials "RHS".

While authorities say the post was not directly threatening Righetti High School, nervous parents told KSBY they wouldn't be taking any chances.

"It happened at Atascadero, it is going to happen at other schools, there is going to be copycats," said, Susan Breshears, the mother of a Righetti High School student. "But when I thought about it a little longer, I decided it would be best to pull my child from school because they do suffer from anxiety since COVID."

Authorities have since confirmed the post came from a male student currently living in a town called Raymondville, Texas. Detective Cruz with the Raymondville Police Department said that the student has been arrested and that as of now, there are no additional threats related to that social media post.

Prior to this information surfacing, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office worked to ensure a heightened level of security measures Friday at Righetti.

Sheriff PIO Raquel Zick said, "A lot of us in the Sheriff's Department are parents as well, so we are doing our best to let the community know that as members of the community, and your law enforcement agency, we do take the safety of your children very seriously."

During school hours Friday, several sheriff's cars could be seen patrolling the Righetti High School grounds.

Zick also added that this situation presents an opportunity for parents to educate their children on the importance of exercising proper judgment when posting to social media.

"There's a ripple effect through a community and posting something because you think it is funny or cool or you didn't mean it can still have a massive effect on people all around you," she said.

Meantime, just days following the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, parents in Santa Maria like Susan Breshears say they have considered new measures of their own to protect their kids.

Breshears said, "It is scary when you are looking to buy your child bulletproof backpacks just to have that added protection if something happens. We shouldn't have to do that."

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office also says even though this particular social media threat originated out of state, increased levels of sheriff and security presence can be expected across county schools in the near future.

As for that Raymondville juvenile who made the original "RHS" threat on social media, police say his identity is being withheld and the case remains under investigation.

Authorities also say that parents in the Santa Maria Joint Unified School District should soon receive a follow-up message saying an arrest has been made.