STOCKTON- On the same day that multiple students were shot at a high school in Santa Clarita with the 16 year old gunman shooting himself in the head, an almost exact scenario was foiled in town after we discovered the detailed plans along with a motive, intended targets, and similar intentions as those played out in Southern California. Stockton is the location where the first modern mass shooting in America occurred at Cleveland Elementary. The city ranks as the most violent in California and 10th most dangerous in the nation. Such plans and threats are to be taken seriously, which is why we reached out to Sheriff Pat Whitrow who initiated the Joint Task Force on Terrorism. Law enforcement went into action guarding Franklin High School overnight and tracking down and arresting two individuals suspected of planning the shooting.
When reached out to for a statement, SUSD released the following:
“Statement from Stockton Unified School District 11/14/19
Last night, the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office received notification of a social media post threatening a school shooting at Franklin High School. The Sheriff’s Office immediately notified the Stockton Unified Police Department and jointly worked through the night to identify and detain the suspects. The students will face disciplinary action by both our school system and the juvenile justice system.
The safety of our students and staff is our number one priority, and we will continue to be vigilant. We will not tolerate threats of any nature. We need to come together as a community of students, families, and school personnel to end this disruption of student learning. We urge parents to talk with their children and impress upon them the seriousness of threats in today’s society. We also ask that students to notify parents or school personnel should they hear of any planned or potential disruptive behavior”.
For clarification, the detailed threats were not issued or discovered on a “social media post”. Of concern is the seemingly deliberate attempt by controversial Superintendent John Deasy to downplay the incident as “potential disruptive behavior” as if it were some mundane nuisance.
Parents and teachers who wish to remain unnamed have reached out to us saying that many are expressing anger at the principal and district administration because they were not forewarned and that similar threats of violence remain persistent at the high school. They feel not enough is being done to address it. Violence has been an issue at many Stockton Unified high schools this year, especially Franklin where a female student had to be transported to the hospital after her face was split open on the concrete during a fight on school grounds attended by hundreds of students. We have the video as we do with many other fights that have even shut down city streets as they spill out beyond the school grounds. It should be noted, in this particular threat scenario, the threat was received after school ended and resolved before school began without students being placed in any danger.
Deasy’s solution according to the statement released? “Coming together as a community”. What? “Coming together” is not an actual solution, especially for a superintendent who just received a 5% raise after one year on the job for which he was hired despite having a degree in question and resigning from Los Angeles Unified School District amidst an FBI investigation of him wasting billions of dollars. He seems to be more concerned with appearances than actually addressing the real threats and consistent events of mass fights at SUSD schools.
Teachers and district employees have also detailed that policies have been changed by Deasy inhibiting their ability to address disruptions in class and on campus as a way to lower the statistics for suspensions. In fact under the leadership of Lange Luntao, who is both Board President and Executive Director for Mayor Tubbs’ Reinvent Stockton Foundation (which has a contract with SUSD) a nonprofit ally of Mayor Tubbs and steering committee member of “Reinvent Stockton” called Fathers&Families of San Joaquin has been given access to students and school grounds despite being run by Sammy Nunez a convicted violent felon who has openly called for removing police officers from school grounds.
SUSD’s response to such a serious threat is cause for even more concern that nothing will be done to address the underlying violence and threat of violence for both students and teachers/staff. The underlying causes that fueled the suspects motives still remain.