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April 1 Lockdown Impacts Campuses

Riverbank High School was locked down on Friday, April 1 after a threat of violence was written on a bathroom wall. Riverbank Police Services (RPS) was contacted and the school was locked down for several hours as they searched for weapons and ensured safety. There were no weapons found and the threat was determined to be unfounded. No one was hurt or injured. The investigation with RPS is ongoing.

“While the threat was not a direct one, it was credible enough to warrant an investigation and search to ensure the safety of everyone on campus,” said Riverbank Unified Superintendent Christine Facella. “All schools in Riverbank Unified have safety plans in place and RHS faculty and staff are to be commended for their actions during the lockdown.”

The situation occurred around 11 a.m. on Friday, which was April Fool’s Day, though it’s unknown if the threat was made as a prank because of the April 1 date. RHS Principal Greg Diaz contacted law enforcement and put the school on lockdown. Once deputies arrived on scene they worked with Diaz and school staff to assess the situation and resolve the threat.

As a precaution all students and backpacks were searched and no weapons were found. Facella shared that the students were very cooperative. During the search at the high school, officials said there was misinformation spreading through social media which caused California Avenue Elementary to go into lockdown as well.

She said, “At no time did a shooter come on the California Avenue school site. No students or staff were hurt or harmed during these situations.”

Once a school is on lockdown no one is allowed on or off campus for everyone’s safety. The lockdown at RHS was lifted at 2:50 p.m. and the elementary school got the all-clear at approximately 2:05 p.m.

“RPS was extremely helpful and professional in their work at both school sites,” stated Facella. “It is important for the community to know that once the police become involved, the district takes direction from them.”

Facella expressed appreciation to those parents that waited across the street from the high school and other areas to pick up their students. They will also be looking into a more efficient way of dismissing elementary students from school after a lockdown. She added that the district has been in the process of purchasing an application that will speed up communication in the event of an emergency. They plan to have it rolled out by the start of the next 2022-23 school year.