Police are not releasing the suspect's name because he is a juvenile, but said he is facing felony charges for possessing a fake bomb and making criminal threats. Other students said the suspect is a 16-year-old sophomore at the school.
The school was evacuated at about 10 a.m. after the discovery was made. Hundreds of students were sent into the parking lot and stadium before being released for the day.
"We were all pretty scared. I know I was," said a student at the school, which is located at 1905 Main Street.
"We got a call of a student on campus who had some fireworks with him. He was brought to the vice-principal's office," said Huntington Beach Police Lt. Russell Reinhart. "At that time we found out that he had another device with him. It appeared suspicious as if it was an explosive device."
The bomb squad sent in a robot to examine the explosive-looking device, which turned out to be fake.
However some students said they are still worried because of the suspect's alleged past behavior. One student had a cell-phone video from an earlier date showing the student talking about violence and being bullied.
"When World War stuff came up he was always excited. He always wore an army jacket and he was always talking about bombs," said Huntington Beach High student Jonathan Valadez.
A teenager, identifying himself as the suspect's brother, said his brother never talked about harming others but he had heard rumors about the day's incident.
"It's very disconcerting to me that this kid could just walk on campus after he has made all these threats and talked about bombs in the past," said Pam Shapiro, a parent of a student at the school.
Police also served a search warrant on the suspect's home in Huntington Beach. Investigators said they did recover some evidence but did not release specifics. The suspect was being held at the Orange County Juvenile Hall.
No one was injured in the incident.