Local News

Friday, Jan 11 2013 05:18 PM

Students at other schools on edge after Taft shooting

BY ANTONIE BOESSENKOOL Californian staff writer aboessenkool@bakersfield.com

Parents and their students at several local schools appeared on edge Friday, the day after the shooting at Taft Union High School, as rumors circulated about threats at four schools.

At Bakersfield High School, a fist-fight Thursday during school hours developed overnight into threats that a shooting would happen at the school Friday, according to Bakersfield police. Threats of the shooting spread through Facebook and texts between students, police said. Officers were stationed at the school for most of the day, but they determined the threats weren't credible, according to a news release Friday.

Administrators at Bakersfield High School told their staff that at least 350 students were picked up at the school by their parents, but others may have left the campus on their own without checking out with the school's attendance office. It wasn't clear if they were picked up early or on time by anxious parents who wanted to escort their kids home.

BHS and other schools in the Kern High School District have their own police department. In addition to the rumor of a possible shooting at BHS, similar stories were circulating at three other schools, said Mike Collier, chief of KHSD's police department. Those were East Bakersfield High School, Golden Valley High School and Mira Monte High School, but none of those resulted in any solid indications that violence would break out, he said.

"We have had a lot of rumors going on in the last 24 hours," Collier said. "A number of parents have called in and said they heard a rumor that there would be a shooting."

"I just think it's kind of spin-off from what happened yesterday" in Taft, Collier said. "People are sort of on edge."

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