Two weeks after a student was charged for communicating threats of mass violence to a fellow classmate, Cedar Ridge High School faced another threat last Thursday when a student reported a threat of gun violence that was written on the floor in the school’s gymnasium.
The threat, which stated that the culprit would take part in gun violence at the school on Nov. 14, led to the school entering a soft lockdown while officials with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office conducted a search of the school.
Last Monday, Cedar Ridge faced a similar threat in the form of a violent message on a bathroom stall. The threats on school property were preceded by a text message sent from 18-year-old student Dylan W. George to a classmate on Oct. 25 where he communicated threats of mass violence at the school. After spending a week in the Orange County Detention Center for a class H felony, George was released and put under supervision through the Pretrial Release Program.
Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood released a statement Friday regarding the threats found at Cedar Ridge.
“As I’ve said before, threats to school safety are incredibly dangerous, disruptive, and anxiety producing,” Blackwood stated. “We must assess each threat with consistency and diligence while keeping the protection of the school community as our top priority. We know young people do impulsive things and sometimes exhibit poor judgement. In an ideal world, a student who made such a threat might be served best through counseling and discipline. However, our community’s need for safety creates a reality where instead, a student making such a threat could face potentially life-changing criminal charges.”
Orange County Schools superintendent Dr. Monique Felder released a statement Friday saying that administrators are working together with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office to increase security at Cedar Ridge in lieu of the threats targeted at the school.
“We are taking these threats seriously and are actively working with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department to ensure the safety of all students by increasing security measures on the Cedar Ridge High School campus," Felder said. “My top priority is the safety of students, staff, and our community. Moving forward, we will continue to work hand-in-hand with law enforcement to help students understand the consequences of school threats, while also ensuring our families and students know about the social, emotional and mental health support systems we have in place.
The increased security measures will be in place at the school this week. Sheriff Blackwood has issued a $2,500 reward for information that would help lead to an arrest and conviction of the person responsible for making one of the written threats. Students with information are urged to contact one of the school’s resource officers, Corporal Jon Daniel or Corporal Jason Wagner, or speak with a teacher or administrator.