ROSAMOND — Southern Kern Unified School District administrators closed Rosamond High School on Thursday out of an abundance of caution after rumors circulated on social media about potential gun violence.
“We don’t know that there was any actual tangible, eminent threat made,” Superintendent Barbara Gaines said.
Rosamond High School administrators contacted the Kern County Sheriff’s Office on Monday and reported a potential shooting threat that was several days old, according to the Kern County Sheriff’s Office.
The Sheriff’s Office conducted an investigation into the alleged threats. Sheriff’s deputies returned to the high school on Thursday morning for a follow-up investigation related to the same threats reported and investigated Monday.
A fabricated, poorly written message purportedly authored by Rosamond High Principal Lisa Aqenenni, who was not at school, circulated on social media outlets Wednesday and Thursday.
Other community members posted additional information regarding a student being suspended for having a gun on campus, and that the student had murdered his caregiver and police were looking for him, authorities said.
“While this investigation is still on-going, we have confirmed there were no firearms located on the campus and no students have been arrested for being in possession of a firearm at the school,” the Kern County Sheriff’s Office said. “The information released this morning was determined to be old information from the originally reported threats. The information in the social media post is also unfounded. No arrests have been made at this time.”
The rumors started Monday after a student allegedly had a list of student names. No one saw the list, nor was a student threatened directly. The first student was sent home for his protection as well as others, pending the investigation. So far, the investigation has determined a second student may have created the fabricated message.
Gaines and Rosamond High Assistant Principal Ronald Riley met early Thursday morning to discuss what action to take. She decided to cancel classes at Rosamond High for the day. No other District schools were affected.
“We just felt that the rumors and the posts that were going around this small community were out of control, and it was creating a heightened fear of a shooter, which we don’t believe ever existed to begin with,” Gaines said.
The high school is expected to be open today for school.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Kern County Sheriff’s Office at 661-861-3110 or the Secret Witness Hotline at 661-322-4040.