Threat to Cambria school was a false alarm, but student won’t be back this year

Coast Union students recently competed at the California Cyber Innovation Challenge, hosted June 23 through 25 at Cal Poly.
Coast Union students recently competed at the California Cyber Innovation Challenge, hosted June 23 through 25 at Cal Poly. The Tribune

A student who allegedly made alarming comments Thursday that something bad might happen at Coast Union High School on Friday apparently never intended any harm, according to Sheriff’s Office and school officials.

However, that student won’t be attending school for the rest of the year.

Victoria Schumacher, superintendent of the Coast Unified School District, said Friday that at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Principal Scott Ferguson notified the Sheriff’s Office about the student’s alleged comments, and there was constant communication between the agencies throughout the investigation.

The two school officials were on campus until nearly 10 p.m. Thursday, Schumacher said, and they were on hand to greet and reassure students and parents early Friday morning.

“Safety is always a priority at our district,” Shumacher said.

Parents of the students who notified school officials said the threat had been to blow out windows on the campus and “paint the school red.”

“However, there was no direct threat, and this rumor is not substantiated,” Schumacher said.

Cmdr. Jim Voge said Friday morning that deputies investigating the alleged threat interviewed the student and family members and went to the home but found no guns, explosives or other evidence that the student planned to damage the school or hurt anybody.

Voge said the family is anti-gun, and the student assured deputies there was no intent to harm the campus or anybody on it.

“We take every threat very seriously,” Voge said. “It was fully investigated last night. There’s no such thing as just saying kids are kids anymore.”

Schumacher said school officials notified parents Thursday night that an investigation was underway, law enforcement was involved and students would be safe. She said another robocall went out this morning saying the Sheriff’s Office had finished the investigation and concluded “that there was no threat.” As a precaution, “law enforcement was at the high school this morning and was available to the other schools.”

There was already a substantial presence of deputies and other sheriff’s officials in Cambria Thursday night. They were there to participate in the “Tip a Cop” dinners that raise funds for Special Olympics.