STOCKTON — In the span of 11 days, two Venture Academy students have been arrested on suspicion of making threats to commit a shooting at the charter school.
The latest arrest came Thursday evening after Stockton police met with staff on campus in the 2800 block of Transworld Drive in southeast Stockton.
Staff reported they received an anonymous email about a 16-year-old male student who wanted to shoot up the school, authorities said. The information about the threat came through social media.
Officers contacted the teen and his parent at their residence and the juvenile was taken into custody without incident, police said.
A search of the residence did not turn up any firearms.
The San Joaquin County Office of Education, which oversees Venture Academy and its 1,600 students from grades K-12, released a statement Friday saying the student will not be in school during the investigation and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.
“Recent events at schools in the country have heightened everyone’s concern for the safety of students,” the statement read. “We share these concerns and strive to ensure a safe learning environment for all.”
SJCOE officials commended school staff and Stockton police for the quick response.
“We are also thankful to the members of our Venture community who are willing to come forward when they see suspicious activity,” the statement continued. “It underscores the importance of parents talking to students about the seriousness of threats and the need to report suspicious activities, threats, or disturbing information to a trusted adult. The safety of our students and our staff is our first priority, and students, parents, and staff can help us continue to be vigilant.”
On Feb. 26, a 14-year-old Venture Academy student was arrested for making similar threats.
School staff detained the student until officers arrived. A subsequent investigation indicated the student had written out plans on how he was going to commit the shooting, police said.
Detectives and the student’s parents were notified. A search of the student’s home was conducted and nothing illegal was located, police said. Both students, whose names are being withheld because they are juveniles, were booked into San Joaquin County Juvenile Hall for making terrorist threats.
Officer Joe Silva, a spokesman for the Stockton Police Department, said once again, authorities are pleased that people are coming forward with information regarding serious threats.
“The Venture Academy staff did the right thing by contacting us immediately, which allowed our officers to make a quick arrest,” Silva said.
After class was dismissed for the weekend, Stockton City Councilwoman Christina Fugazi, who has taught at Venture Academy for 12 years, said she’s “flabbergasted” that another student would make such threats.
“To think somebody that young, that hasn’t lived life, has such dark thoughts … really dark desires, is rather off-putting,” she said.
Fugazi, too, applauded the quick work done by both school staff and authorities.
“It’s important that we follow through with every potential threat and work in conjunction with local law enforcement to provide a safe environment for students to learn, and we’re doing that.”
Contact reporter Nicholas Filipas at (209) 546-8257 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on recordnet.com/filipasblog or on Twitter @nicholasfilipas.