UPDATE- Malibu High principal releases statement on bomb threat

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In an email to parents Thursday evening, Malibu High School Principal Mark Kelly provided a summary of the events surrounding a bomb threat that resulted in a lockdown of Malibu High School and the adjacent Juan Cabrillo Elementary and Malibu United Methodist Schools for most of the school day Thursday. The school received a phone call at about 10:10 a.m. Thursday from someone believed to be a teenager. The person said a team of students was planting a bomb on the campus. The Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station was called and the campus was locked down. Students were evacuated from their classrooms into the school gyms. At 1:30 p.m., a search of the campus by a bomb-sniffing dog was completed and students were allowed to return to classrooms. The Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station says no arrests have been made and an investigation into who made the phone call is ongoing. For more information, read the full text of Principal Kelly’s letter below:

Statement from Malibu High Principal Mark Kelly:

I am writing to address today’s incident on campus. At approximately 10:10 a.m., we received a phone call from what we believe to be a teenager who stated that a team of students were planting a bomb on the campus. We received additional calls containing additional threats to safety. We took the call seriously and immediately executed our emergency procedures for such an issue. The Lost Hills Sheriff’s Department was contacted. Per direction from law enforcement, we evacuated students to our evacuation area and placed the campus on lockdown, ensuring that no one other than law enforcement would enter or leave campus. The Sheriff’s Department used a bomb-sniffing dog in our gymnasiums to ensure they were safe for students.

Middle school students were moved into the upper gymnasium and high school students to the lower competition gymnasium. They subsequently did a similar examination of the rest of the campus. At approximately 1:30 p.m., the Sheriff’s Department declared the campus safe and allowed us to return students to classrooms. We maintained a semi-state of lockdown by holding students in their period three classes. We activated our reunion gate to allow parents who came to campus to be reunited with their student. All other students were held until the regular dismissal time of 3:00 p.m., where we did normal dismissal including regular bus service. Once back in classrooms, students were allowed to get lunch from the cafeteria.

Unfortunately, we had to cancel several home and away athletic events as we were not able to ensure that our athletes would be available at the start of their games. At all times, the teachers and staff made your children’s safety our first priority. Please join me in thanking all of our teachers for their cooperation and leadership during this unfortunate incident. We also thank you as parents for your trust and patience. We know that you were receiving incomplete information from your students. We did our best to communicate with you while we were in the midst of this incident. Lastly, know that our wonderful Malibu High students were terrific. They obeyed the first rule of a campus crisis – listen to adults. It made me proud to see how well they handled this difficult situation. Please be assured that your children are safe to come to school. We will continue with our STAR testing program on Friday. This is a very important day for us and we want our students to come and do their best. Unfortunately, our schedule does not provide us any opportunity to change our schedule to move testing to another day.

Please know that your child’s safety is most important to us. Know that we will be vigilant in supervising them to ensure they are safe. I ask that you take time to speak with your child. Let them know that we care about them and are always working to ensure their safety. We take any threat to the campus seriously, while knowing most bomb threats are unfounded. We appreciate greatly all your support and cooperation and look forward to returning to the important work of teaching and learning.

Sincerely,

Mark O. Kelly

Principal