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Cal High: Students identified as suspects in racist graffiti threatening violence

Culprits behind other threats still unidentified; new graffiti message found

Amid a rash of graffiti threatening violence at California High School over recent weeks, officials at the San Ramon school have announced that multiple students have been identified as those responsible for at least one of the messages.

The suspects, whose names were not released to the public, faced appropriate disciplinary actions for threatening graffiti with racist terms that was found on a shack near the Cal High football field on May 3, according to principal Chris George.

So far that incident has not been connected to two other incidents reported this month (May 1 and May 8, respectively) in which graffiti threats were discovered at Cal High promising violence at the school.

George also noted that more "copycat" graffiti was found on Thursday threatening "School shooting, Thursday 5/27" followed by a racist remark -- although May 27 is actually a Monday, with school not scheduled to be in session because of the Memorial Day holiday.

"San Ramon Police take all threats seriously and are actively investigating this threat. Police shared that there has been no evidence to corroborate that this threat is credible, but they will continue to investigate," George said in an email to the Cal High community. "Students responsible will face disciplinary action up to expulsion and possibly criminal charges."

George said that for the remainder of the year police will continue to have an increased presence on and around campus, as a short-term deterrent while the school installs longer-term solutions. For the long-term, George said Cal High will be installing additional security cameras around the school in the near future, and both staff and students will be receiving additional safety training during the summer.

San Ramon police will also be using the Cal High campus to conduct safety training over the summer, and the school will be working with the Sandy Hook Promise organization in order to create a safer overall school climate.

The first graffiti threatening mass violence on campus was spotted in a Cal High boys' bathroom on May 1 and read "Cal will be shot up 5/9. Final warning." An additional threat was found after, but May 9 came and went with a peaceful day of school without violence amid extra police presence on and around campus -- although the vast majority of students stayed home, with school district officials saying approximately 80% of students did not report to school May 9 amid the threats.

George credited tips submitted from students as being vitally important in identifying the suspects, and encouraged anyone with information to contact him by calling, or through the school's anonymous tip line.

"I have been so impressed by the amount of information that students shared with staff in the past few weeks. It is clear that they want a distraction free environment where they feel safe. I again ask that anyone with any information that may help our investigation contact me at (925) 803-3210. Also, information can be reported anonymously through our online anonymous tip line," he said.

Both the San Ramon Valley Unified School District and San Ramon Police Department have a standing policy of "if you see something or know something, say something," for issues related to school safety. Each school has its own anonymous tip line link posted to their website that anyone can use to send information, related to this case or others.

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