Rumors swirled around schools in the Northern San Joaquin Valley and foothills as reports of potential threats of violence circulated.
Law enforcement agencies emphasized they have not found any of the threats to be credible, but they are keeping up an increased presence on campuses in the wake of a shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida that claimed the lives of 17 people Feb. 14.
Central Catholic High School in Modesto sent a note to families Thursday, saying in part "We became aware of a social media posting today that referenced 'Look out Central' among other threatening comments. We have no reason to believe that the post was referencing Central Catholic High School, however, we chose to exercise an abundance of caution. School leadership was notified and increased presence in all common areas to ensure student safety."
Modesto police investigated the post and determined that the threat wasn't credible.
The Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department came to a similar conclusion regarding a "potential threat" at Gregori High School that began on social media.
Sgt. Josh Sandoval said Thursday morning that the school was aware of the situation, that there would be deputies present at the school campus. He said the rumor "spread like wildfire" on social media. He said there was "no articulate threat" made.
On Wednesday afternoon, parents at La Loma Junior High School on Encina Avenue in central Modesto received a robo-call and a letter on dark pink stationery detailing a Modesto Police Department investigation into a "rumor."
In the letter, principal Dan Iverson wrote: "Last night our administration was made aware of a rumor regarding the safety of our students and campus. The Modesto Police Department was contacted immediately to investigate the matter. MPD completed their investigation and found no credible threat to student or staff safety. The school day proceeded as normal and school dismissed at its regular time."
At least one parent told The Bee on Wednesday night she was upset parents weren't alerted to the rumor before the school day started. She said she called the school in the afternoon for more details, but none were given.
In Sonora, police said on their Facebook page that they were aware of a circulated threat to "SHS". That threat has caused concern among parents nationwide, as the "SHS" isn't specified.
"There is currently no indication of a credible threat to our local schools," police said in a Facebook post. "However, due to the general nature of this type of incident, we are working closely with school officials to ensure high precautionary measures are in place to include an increased law enforcement presence at the school."