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Casa Grande High School in Petaluma
photo credit: Courtesy of Petaluma City Schools

Petaluma police continue investigating a bomb threat made against Casa Grande High School. But it appears no one was ever in any danger. 

Officers arrived to the high school early this morning and secured the cafeteria during the lunch hour, the time and place specified in the threat.

The anonymous threat was made on Wednesday evening through the STOPit app, a program for students to report anonymously to school officials.

Petaluma Schools Superintendent Matthew Harris said the threat was made hours after the app was introduced to a group of about 80 freshmen during a physical education class.

"We've had so many traumatic events over the past last few years," Harris said. "I think this is a time here where we need to all hold each other with a little more care and grace than usual."

Harris said, if this was a fake threat sent by a student, it indicates a cry for help more than anything.

"This kind of threat is scary, it can generate a lot of anxiety, stress in students and our staff," Harris said. "And we have support here on campus, we have mental health counseling and we have support here in our community."

Harris said police brought a bomb sniffing dog but by the time lunch rolled around as 12:15, the threat was not deemed credible. Classes ran as schedule but concerned parents were able to pick up students.

Although the threat was made Wednesday evening, a Nixle alert did not go out to Petaluma residents until 10:40AM Thursday morning. Petaluma Police Lieutenant Timothy Lyons said this is because the department needed to initiate the investigation before sending out the alert. But many were confused about the alert Thursday, thinking there was immediate danger.

Harris sent a message out to Petaluma schools around noon on Thursday. A number of parents voiced disappointment and concern on social media that they weren't notified earlier.

 

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