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Stockton School Shuts Down Over Threatening Letter

STOCKTON (CBS13) — Classes at a Stockton high school were canceled Monday after a threatening email was sent to teachers and administrators.
Police said a 16-year-old student wrote the letter and made reference to recent school shootings and praised them. She also threatened to bring explosives onto campus.
St. Mary’s High School principal Kathy Smith said the decision to close campus was just as a precaution.
Gun violence on a school campus is something many members of the Stockton group Cleveland School Remembers have experienced. In 1989, five students were killed and 30 others injured when a gunman walked onto campus.
“It’s reprehensible. Unfortunately, we’ve seen too many of them. In this country, it seems to have become the new norm,” said Nikki Smith of Cleveland School Remembers.
School threats have also become something administrators and police have seen more of including a threatening e-mail sent to St. Mary’s High School Sunday night.
“I don’t understand the mentality of that, I really can’t comprehend it. That’s something that is disturbing,” said Smith.
Police say the letter written by a 16-year-old student at St. Mary’s made reference to recent school shootings and praised them. The young suspect also threatened to bring explosives to class.
“I think it’s probably someone who may need attention, just attention. Obviously, somebody who needs some parental care or a place to talk, if things aren’t going, the way she wants,” said Judy Weldon of Cleveland School Remembers.
Parents were notified of the incident Monday morning. Authorities checked the campus for any explosive devices and it was given the all-clear. Leaders with Cleveland School Remembers said there is a newly formed group called Stockton Speaks made up of youth advocates hoping to address school violence.
“A lot of our children are hurting. Before, when guns were not so available, they took out their sorrow or their hurt or anger in other ways. Not so lethal, but today the guns are available and in huge numbers, every threat needs to be taken seriously,” said Weldon.
The incident remains an on-going investigation. St. Mary’s High School is scheduled to re-open Tuesday.

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