Bomb threat causes explosion of chaos

Drawing+by%3A+Charlotte+D%27Orsi

Drawing by: Charlotte D'Orsi

Charlotte D'Orsi

A Threat made on ASB Instagram page prompts Police Department investigation 

On the week of Oct. 7, all VHS-affiliated social media accounts were urged to change their passwords and disable comments as a result of a bomb threat being commented on the Associated Student Body Instagram page. As well, someone hacked into The Cougar Press Instagram and posted a similar threat.

The original comment in question was made in the comments section Instagram post regarding Homecoming spirit week.

The Ventura Police Department was made aware of the situation and have been working with the district and Principal Carlos Cohen in order to conduct an investigation into the legitimacy of the threat. Security presence on campus was heightened in order to ensure the safety of VHS students. Officer Tony Gomez assured that, “the Police Department has been working towards finding out who is behind [the threat].”

Oxnard High School recently experienced a very similar situation, in which a shooting threat was posted to Snapchat in late Sept. this year.

Ventura Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Roger Rice stated, “Unfortunately [online threats] are getting way too common, I think people rely on the anonymity that social media brings and so they do things that they wouldn’t otherwise do.”

VUSD parents and students are concerned about the frequency of such online posts.

One parent commented on the VUSD Facebook post, “Is the person in custody who made these threats? . . . My child is horrified to go to school,” while another parent said, “As a parent I feel we have the right to know what the threat was. At this moment I don’t feel safe sending my 9th grader to school.”

Senior India Hill commented, “ I think [the way the school handled the threat] was appropriate, though I felt that we shouldn’t have been at school Monday in order to give the police more time to investigate.”

Principal Cohen assured that, “like all threats, [they] exhaust the daylight out of them until [they] get every little detail. 

He also assured that immediately following the threat, “[he] worked with [the police department] until 1 o’clock in the morning and they were very confident with the information that they gathered.”

Following the initial threat, other similar comments were posted by users whose identities were not made clear by their account names. After investigation, VPD confirmed that these threats were all coming from different locations.

Principal Cohen added, “The number of people involved is still an ongoing investigation, so a lot of details can’t be shared . . . but the one thing [the police department does] know confidently is that, based on the evidence, there isn’t a credible threat.”

Interview with Principal Carlos Cohen

The Cougar Press elected to keep the identity of the apprehended perpetrator a secret, in order to protect their anonymity. 

A few days after the investigation began, one of the culprits was tracked down by VPD. Principal Cohen explained that, “[they were] able to follow leads that led to the interviewing of the suspect” and that, “the person is going to get their due process.”

Meaning that they will have to face the consequences imposed upon them by both VUSD and VPD. The situation seems to be mellowing out as precautionary steps are being taken to avoid any similar instances from occurring. The police department investigation is ongoing and will continue to be until every piece of information is uncovered and confirmed to be harmless.