Last week's shooting at Taft Union High School that left one young man in critical condition and another facing a long jail term is no laughing matter.
You would think everyone understands that
Unfortunately, some young people are having to learn the hard way.
Several Lincoln Junior High students have made joking references to hits lists, Taft City School Superintendent Ron Bryant said,.
That had led to Taft Police officers visiting their homes and talking to their parents and at least one student was suspended.
That student did not say his threat was a joke until he got caught, Bryant said.
Every "hit list" reference has been checked out thoroughly and none are serious, Bryant emphasized.
"There wasn't a threat that turned out to be serious," Bryant said.
The district is going to send parents a letter warning them – and their children - that all threats will be taken seriously and could lead to suspension or expulsion.
Every report they get is checked out, with school resource officer Moises Martinez taking the lead.
"The officer is actually visiting homes and talking with the kids and their parents," Bryant said.
On concerned parent contacted the Taft Midway Driller concerning the reports of hits lists. He said he was thinking of keeping his daughter out of school until he was assured by the district that none of the threats had checked out.
Even a mention of "hit lists" or anything the could be a threat lands students in trouble.
Bryant said three boys joking about it ended up in the office and one was in tears when they found out how much trouble they faced.
Bryant said the shooting at Taft High resulted in a lockdown of all Taft City Schools on Thursday when the event occurred.
The TCSD reopened all campuses on Friday, but the attendance was only about 60 percent. Part of the high absentee rate is attributable to the high school being closed too, since many TCSD students have sibling that attend that school.
Bryant said the district will be looking at all security measures in the wake of the shooting, and also working on emergency response plans.
The district will be doing a debriefing next week to see what worked and what didn't work during the shooting and immediate aftermath when the district was trying to get kids released to parents when the schools closed.