Twin Peaks Middle School in Poway opened for classes Monday with sheriff's deputies and slightly fewer students on campus than normal after a 12-year-old allegedly spotlighted the day for a school shooting in an email threat over the weekend.
Poway Unified School District Superintendent John Collins said "very few" students' parents had called in to report their children would be staying home in light of the threat.
"I am very pleased to report that I was able to observe a very smooth opening of school this morning," Collins said at a press conference outside of the district office Monday morning.
The district first announced the threat, which was emailed to the school's principal Friday night, on Sunday. Collins said the email allegedly from a Twin Peaks seventh-grader was sent to the school's principal, Kelly Burke, on Friday and opened by her Saturday morning. She immediately contacted the San Diego County Sheriff's Department which opened an investigation with some technology teams to trace the email to the 12-year-old suspect. The student was arrested at his home Saturday night and taken to a local hospital for treatment. Officials said he could face charges for making terrorist threats.
On Monday, Collins said attendance was "fairly typical" for a Monday during flu season. A team of plainclothes and uniformed deputies were on campus for the beginning of school, with a smaller but unspecified number remaining on-site throughout the day, he said.
The email threat cited a particular teacher and 23 unnamed students as targets in a shooting planned for second period, or around 9:30 a.m., Monday, Feb. 11, officials said. At a press conference Sunday, Collins said the teacher would be at school as usual, but on Monday he declined to comment on whether the teacher had come.
Counselors would be available as needed at the school, he said, adding he did not know how many students had seen them so far.
The threat comes on the heels of a reported bullying incident between Twin Peaks students in which one is accused of making death threats against the other's family. Collins said this latest threat is not connected to that bullying incident.
The superintendent sought to reassure parents by emphasizing that the threat was caught in time because emergency protocols were followed by staff. The district has been reviewing its emergency procedures since 20 students and six staff members were killed in a December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.