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OC schools see swirl of threats in week after Conn. shooting

December 20, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
For days, rumors about possible threats have been flying at Trabuco Hills High School and other Orange County schools. Tensions have been high since last week's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

"There's been a lot of threats about school shootings, you hear them all the time," said student Tyler Carlson. "Just a lot of different, crazy stuff that you hear. And it's been pretty nerve-wracking."

Trabuco High Principal Craig Collins sent a phone message to parents Thursday night.

"With the help of the Orange County Sheriff's Department, we have thoroughly investigated every one of those threats, and they have all proven to be rumors without any basis," Collins said in the message. He also asked parents to notify authorities if they see or hear about any other threats.

But that's not enough for Barbie Cherrison, a mother of three school-age kids. She kept her kids at home Thursday and they'll stay home again Friday.

"They've had a ton of threats, but we should remain calm. I feel like I'm being asked to get used to the new normal, and I don't want it to be my new normal," she said.

Authorities will step up patrols at Orange County schools Friday, the last day of classes before the holiday break. But Cherrison thinks the schools should not be open Friday.

"'Everything is going to be OK, kids get used to this. We're going to protect you.' Well I'm a parent, and I'm going to protect them, and it's my right to say, 'No, we're not going to go to school,'" she said.

"There are no credible threats that we are aware of in Orange County," said Orange County Sheriff's Department Lt. Stu Greenberg. "We are actively out there in a heightened state of vigilance patrolling and prepared to respond if necessary."

Patrols will also be stepped up for schools in the LAUSD when school resumes in January.


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