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Cops look into school threat

November 27, 2003

Lolita Harper and Marisa O'Neil

Many on the Corona del Mar High School campus are thankful this week

that a student's threat of violence, reported to have been issued

Wednesday, was thwarted by the quick actions of students, parents and

officials.

Police and school officials confirmed Wednesday that a Corona del

Mar High School student made a "terrorist threat" last Friday.

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Newport Beach police Sgt. Steve Shulman said his department was

investigating the threat but did not identify the boy and refused to

confirm if the student had been taken into custody.

"We can't release the name of the student because he is a

juvenile," Shulman said. "We can't go into the details of the threat

or what statements were made because there is an investigation going

on."

Robert Barbot, the superintendent of the Newport-Mesa Unified

School District, was equally unspecific.

"It was simply a threat," the superintendent said. "We are not

happy about it, but it was just a threat."

Barbot said he heard the threat was made via the Internet but had

yet to confirm it. A student who had received the threat reported it

to school officials, and middle school Principal Brook Booth took

appropriate actions, Barbot said.

"We are doing an investigation ourselves," Barbot said. "A student

made some threats. There was no reality to it. There was a rumor of a

gun, but that wasn't the case."

No gun was brought on campus, and no further action was taken by

the student after the initial threat, Barbot said. The parents of the

boy were very cooperative, he said.

The issue raised the concerns of other parents, who happened to

hear about the incident from their children or other parents.

Officials did not formally notify parents of the threat.

A Corona del Mar father, whose asked not to be identified because

his son was allegedly listed as a target of the attack, said other

parents called him the weekend of Nov. 21 to warn him of possible

threats against his son. He immediately got on the phone with the

Newport Beach Police and got in touch with the detective handling the

case. He said he was hungry for any information he could get about

his son's safety and was disappointed that this shocking news came

from a friend, not an official from the district or the police

department.

"I've been on the phone with the police way too much lately," he

said.

Jill Money, president of the Corona del Mar Parent Teacher Assn.,

had also heard about the threat through a network of parents and

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