Investigation launched after student threatens to 'shoot up' Willows High School


WILLOWS, Calif. - A teenager faces expulsion from Willows High School after a threatening social media post over the weekend.

Living in a time period that's now home to the deadliest mass shooting in modern history, there's no room for threats to be taken lightly.

"It's a scary time right now," said Willows High School Principal David Johnstone. "I mean a lot of things, a lot of shootings have been happening."

Which is why it was so important that the Willow High School students who saw the threat, reported it immediately. The Glenn County Sheriff's Office said it got word of the Snapchat picture Saturday afternoon at about 3:20 p.m.

Deputies said a student sent out a picture holding a firearm and wearing a mask with the caption "guess who is shooting up the school Monday."

"He sent it to friends thinking it wasn't going to go anywhere else and then that's how it was posted on other people's [accounts] and that's how it went viral, poof," explained Johnstone.

Enough people took it seriously, calling deputies, along with the Glenn County Mental Health Assessment Response Team, who all took immediate action.

"Immediately take action, let's move in the direction that we need to move so that we can get this taken care of, because we don't want any tragedies at our school, or in our community, or anywhere," said Johnstone. "There's been a lot of stuff going on, so it's scary."

After an in-depth interview with the student and his or her guardians, deputies determined that they did not have the intent or means to carry out the act. The Sheriff's Office said the student was referred to the county's juvenile probation department and recommended for further evaluation from the Mental Health Assessment Response Team.

Monday, all was calm at Willows High. Of the 473 students that are enrolled, the principal said only two parents called saying they were keeping their student at home today because of this incident.

Students and staff who were there said they didn't feel threatened at all.

"We've got great kids here, we do have great kids and I'm hoping that they always want what's best for our school, for teachers staff and the community," Johnstone explained. "I think that with this, this was a true testament that we're moving in that direction. They're going to let us know before anything bad happens."

The student was a juvenile so his or her name will not be released. Because of this, Johnstone also couldn't discuss their consequences, but did add that per policy, a threat to this degree does warrant suspension, pre-expulsion and or expulsion.

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