TRACY, CA - A fed-up-sounding Tracy Police Department has issued a no-nonsense appeal to students to halt the numerous threats to local high schools.
In the last three days, the department says there have been several such hoaxes, including one at Tracy High school on Wednesday. There, two graffiti messages saying a bomb would go off on campus Thursday were found in two boys' restrooms. The school was evacuated and police and K9s spent the afternoon searching the campus. No bomb materials were found.
Authorities suspect the threats this week were an effort to disrupt standardized testing.
The police department says two individuals were arrested Thursday for the Tracy High threats. The police chief said his department would seek full prosecution for the threats because responding to them puts those who are experiencing a real emergency at risk of not receiving a timely police response.
The news release said because of incidents such as the mass school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut last December, police and schools have to take any threats of violence seriously.
"Sadly, some misguided youth have realized this fact and are exploiting the horrific event to support their irresponsible acts," the statement read.
Police Chief Gary Hampton urged parents to take time now to talk to their kids about the seriousness of making fake threats. In addition to criminal prosecution of the perpetrators, Hampton said parents could be hit with costs incurred by public safety and the school for responding to the hoaxes.