Students Use Text Tipline to Report School Threat - NBC Southern California

Students Use Text Tipline to Report School Threat

A picture of a gun and a seemingly threatening message prompts students to text authorities



    School Threat on Social Media Goes Viral

    A threat on social media aimed at an Orange County high school went viral. Vikki Vargas reports from Rancho Santa Margarita for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014. (Published Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014)

    Students at an Orange County high school are being praised after a seemingly threatening social media post against their school prompted them to do something about it.

    Students at Santa Margarita Catholic High School saw an Instagram post by a 16-year-old foreign exchange student showing pictures of a gun and a message reading, "3 reasons to skip school tomorrow."

    The foreign exchange student wrote that his American friends won't totally "accept us."

    Students turned to Text-a-Tip, a hotline that schools use to inform authorities of what they perceive to be potential threats.

    Over 100 text messages were sent through Text-a-Tip on Tuesday to Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy Clay Cranford from students who had seen the post.

    "It tells me that we have students here on this campus ... that take their campus safety seriously," Cranford said.

    Authorities located the foreign exchange student at home and questioned him. The weapon pictured in the post turned out to be a BB gun.

    Students say its Text-a-Tip is a way to confidentially do the right thing.

    "They know if something's wrong, we should tell authorities," said junior Michelle Luczo.

    Police said that students and others were right to notify the police, but it turned out to be not a credible threat.

    The school says the student is no longer on campus and is not coming back anytime soon.

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