BVH experiences school shooter threat

On Wed., April 12 at 2:10 p.m. Bonita Vista High (BVH) Principal Lee Romero sent an email to students, staff and parents via Jupiter Grades to address a threat of a school shooting directed towards BVH. 

This incident started on April 11, when according to Romero’s email at 2:10 p.m., administrators became informed of graffiti on a lunch table about “a threat that was directed towards our school.” The threat read “I’m going to shoot up the school 4/14/23,” according to two photographs submitted to the Crusader staff on April 12. 

Prior to Romero’s email, the BVH community received an email at 9:40 a.m. briefly thanking a student for reporting “threatening graffiti on campus” and encouraging the use of P3Tips—an app that allows anyone to submit anonymous tips to Crime Stoppers programs and law enforcement agencies. 

Romero’s email at 2:10 p.m. explains that after receiving reports, BVH “immediately informed Chula Vista PD [Police Department],” and the district office started their investigation. Students were not officially informed of this threat or the investigation prior to attending school on April 12. 

Concerns heightened at around 1:00 p.m. during the student lunch break and before the start of period 5. Students crowded around the front office attempting to leave campus. Parents had to leave work or call the front desk to excuse their child and pick them up at the front office. This was the case for junior Reilani Lacosta and junior Haydn Lopez.

“Everybody is scared that there’s going to be a school shooting. So students are calling their parents to pick them up just in case anything happens,” Lacosta said. “I was very scared but I sent my mom the screenshots of the email and she asked if she could pick me up.” 

Similar to Lacosta, Lopez mentions how his mother picked him up to avoid any catastrophe that may occur on campus. Feeling frightened to continue his daily activities on campus, Lopez was excused from his class. 

I’m mortified, I’m scared. My parents don’t feel safe with me being on campus.

— Haydn Lopez

“I’m mortified, I’m scared. My parents don’t feel safe with me being on campus. So I’m like ‘I need to leave.’ I don’t want to get shot,” Lopez said.

There was also a video sent to BVH administrators of a student with a weapon in the bathroom. Romero’s email at 2:10 p.m. confirmed that after thorough investigation,“the video was determined that it was not from” BVH’s campus. Students were aware of the video prior to Romero’s email, which increased their concerns. At 5:12 p.m., Romero sent another email to BVH staff, students and parents to “recap today’s event”.

The email mentions that BVH has heightened the campus’s security cameras, and “asked CVPD to increase presence” on the campus for this week. With certainty that no credible event that would have the potential to put any staff member or student in danger”, the email closed off by stating that BVH will not be closed on April 14. Any student that left campus today with a parent or guardian and an off-campus slip will be excused.

“It’s very scary that we don’t know what’s going to happen. We can only be cautious about it,” Lacosta said. “I think it’s been difficult, but the school is trying their best and trying to ease everyone.”

The next day Thur., April 13 at 7:43 a.m. Romero sent out an update on the threat of the school shooting. The email explains there is no updated information, except reassurance that the threat is still being investigated. Romero explains that although BVH’s campus will not be closed, students who wish to stay at home should follow attendance procedures for their absence to be excused. 

At 9:17 a.m., Assistant Principal Esther Wise made a schoolwide announcement through the intercom “initiate secure campus” and to inform students and staff to “limit hall passes.” The secure campus ended at 9:38 a.m. and lasted 18 minutes. 

The reason for the secure campus was due to a student “experiencing an emotional crisis,” according to an email Romero sent at 9:45 a.m.. BVH administrators  located the student to “get him the medical attention he needs.” The email mentions that the secure campus was “in no way related” to the school shooting threats. 

As April 14 came by 1660 students were absent—equivalent to 80% of the school’s population, according to Romero. Fortunately, no one was harmed and the school was safe.

This article will be updated as the Crusader gains more information.