Student's Threat Detailing Violence, Naming Victims Investigated

Parents of potential victims outraged at district's lax response to letter

A high school hate letter that threatened violent murder and sexual assault at a Santa Cruz County campus - and the school's response to it - has parents outraged and consulting with an attorney, according to authorities.

Police and school officials earlier this month investigated a lurid letter allegedly written by a 15-year-old Scotts Valley High School student that lists 21 students - most of them girls - and four women teachers who would be fatally stabbed and sexually assualted.

The school district's immediate response to the June 2 letter, according to parents and their attorney, was to not take it seriously. They want some reassurance from the district that their children will be safe at school.

"(District officials) basically said they looked at it; he’s sorry he wrote it and feels bad and it’ll all blow over," said Jim Sibley, attorney for the potential victims.

An attorney representing the Scotts Valley Unified School District disputes the allegation that it did not take the threat seriously, saying an investigation started immediately.

"The principal notified the district office, and we have continued to work with families involved," said Damara More, assistant general counsel, School and Colleges Legal Services.

Scotts Valley police investigated June 3 and said the student was held on an in-school suspension so he could be monitored by school staff and a school officer during the last three days of the school year.

Sibley said the letter may be considered "a criminal act," either for its threatening nature, harassment or exposing a minor to pornography. The punishment for a juvenile in such a case likely would be "a psychological evaluation and perhaps probation," he said.

Parents of potential victims also are requesting a restraining order against the teen who allegedly wrote the letter.

The police investigation ended Saturday, and while there was no attack carried out, the District Attorney's Office will receive a full report Tuesday and will decide whether to file charges, officials said.

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