San Marcos High School Lockdown Triggered by False Alarm

San Marcos High School was put on lockdown with a gun violence scare that was determined to be from a firecracker.

Paul Wellman

San Marcos High School was put on lockdown with a gun violence scare that was determined to be from a firecracker.

San Marcos High School was on lockdown for about 30 minutes around lunchtime today. “The report came in at 12:06 as ‘shots heard,’” said Kelly Hoover, a public information officer with Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office. Officials soon determined that the sound was from fireworks. “Principal confirmed it was firecracker,” according to a text to San Marcos parents, sent from Santa Barbara Unified School District.

The scare comes on the heels of incidents late last week involving disturbing graffiti discovered on campus. On March 7, an anonymous tip led school administrators to a threatening message graffitied in the girl’s locker room. The message threatened a shooting on campus Friday, March 9, according to Hoover. Three new threatening graffiti messages were found on March 9, this time in the boy’s locker room. Hoover said the incidents were unrelated.

A sizeable turnout of San Marcos parents is expected to attend the district’s Board of Education meeting this Tuesday night, March 13, to speak in support of Principal Ed Behrens, whose longstanding position at the school is reportedly facing an uncertain future. School and district administrators have been criticized for their response in January to a video made by a first-year San Marcos male student on how to kill female students.