Police stepped up patrols at Danville schools on Thursday after after vague threat to kill "12 people" was found at yet another middle school, where attendance was down by 50 percent. The threat was supposed to have occurred on Thursday.
Two threatening copycat graffiti messages were found Wednesday at John Baldwin Elementary School - in the multi-purpose room and the boys' bathroom. Attendance records showed that 269 of Baldwin Elementary School's 540 students stayed home, according to San Ramon Valley Unified School District spokesman Terry Koehne.
That follows on what school staff found a week ago on some rocks under a bridge next to Charlotte Wood Middle School on El Capitan Drive, where attendance was also down by about half. The graffiti near the middle school read: "I will kill 12 people on May 8," according to Koehne.
Badlwin principal Darlene Hale sent out a note to parents on Wednesday, trying to calm parents nerves by speaking about the "increased supervision on all areas of our campus," describing a "solid plan" for making sure the school stayed safe.
"Again, I am aware that some students and parents are feeling uneasy about coming to school on Thursday," she wrote. "We do not believe that our school or students are in danger, and are not encouraging students to stay home. However, I also understand that this is a personal family choice and will respect your decision either way."
Police arrested a boy believed to be behind one of the copycat messages on Wednesday, Danville police Lt. Allan Shields said. The boy was cited and released to his parents. Shields said police continue to investigate the case and have a "zero-tolerance policy" for threats.
"We have no way of knowing for certain whether the threat that was spray-painted was a credible threat but we have to treat it as though it were," said Danville town spokesman Geoff Gillette.