OC Private School Closed After Threat

Sheriff’s officials are expected to release a statement Tuesday morning.

A school threat has forced the temporary closure of an Orange County private school, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department confirmed.

Officials received word Monday that the St. Mary’s School in Aliso Viejo had been threatened via email earlier that day. School officials ordered all 800 students to shelter in place.

An investigation into the email is ongoing. As a precaution, the school will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. There will also be an increased presence of patrol deputies at the school Tuesday.

"It is very scary...I don't understand what's wrong with people that they do that. Why do you threaten schools where there are little kids?" Aliso Viejo resident Mary Buchanan said. "What's the point?"

In a statement Tuesday morning, officials said investigators including the School Mobile Assessment and Resource Team are working with school representatives to determine where the email originated. Authorities have not released the contents of the email.

"The safety of our students always has been and remains our top priority," Sharon Taylor, head of St. Mary's school, said in a written statement.

Tony Novak has two sons who attend St. Mary's. He questions why parents are not privy to the contents of the threat.

"It was severe enough that the sheriff has been here," Novak said. "I'm not planning on letting my children back to school this week. We can always make up the education of a couple of days. We can't make up for a lost child."

This is the second Orange County school to receive an email threat in the last week.

Vikki Vargas contributed to this report.

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