Stephen Ellison

Scotts Valley Parents, Students React to Handling of Threatening Letter

Visibly upset parents and students packed the Scotts Valley school board meeting Tuesday night, voicing concerns about a letter written by a high school student during the last week of school and the district's response to it.

The graphic letter, which was reported June 2, outlined plans of rape and murder of students and teachers at Scotts Valley High School, and parents say the district did little to address the letter or the 15-year-old boy who allegedly wrote it.

Scotts Valley police investigated the case, saying the boy told them it was a hoax and that he was sorry. The boy was held on an in-school suspension for the last three days of the school year. Parents and students said that was not sufficient punishment.

One visibly shaken teen said she has lost sleep and has experienced bouts of anxiety and paranoia since the incident. C.C. Runyon was close to tears when she addressed the meeting Tuesday night.

"Can you honestly look me in the eye and tell me none of that was real?" Runyon said directly to the board. "He threatened my life. He threatened my friend's life, and he threatened my friends' bodies."

Some parents hadn't known until a recent meeting that their children were named on a kill list in the letter.

Parent Lisa Shaw said there are a lot of things that need changing.

"Right now was just letting them know the seriousness of this and letting them know we're not going away," she said.

Shaw said parents received a letter from the district implying it won't take further action.

Superintendent Penny Weaver said she couldn't clarify whether the boy would be expelled or be allowed to return to the school in the fall.

"That's an answer I am not able to provide," she said.

Attorneys for the families said the case could be a crime if it's considered "threatening" or "exposing minors to pornography." Police forwarded an incident report to the Santa Cruz County District Attorney's Office, which is reviewing the case.

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