School Violence Brought Law Enforcement and School Officials to Fortuna Meeting
School officials from over thirty school districts, and law enforcement officers from throughout Del Norte and Humboldt Counties gathered in Fortuna on Wednesday to discuss a topic of major concern to all of them, school violence.
In the wake of recent school shootings, and at least two recent threats to local schools that proved to be hoaxes, law enforcement officials invited Northcoast educators to discuss this topic with them, and offered assistance in reviewing their respective policies and procedures.
The school officials heard from Edgar Castor, a security expert from the Department of Homeland Security, as well as Special Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), and local law enforcement officers from both counties.
A month ago, schools in Fortuna and other locations throughout California as well as the rest of the nation received emails threatening violence. At that time, Fortuna Police with the assistance of the FBI was quickly able to determine that the threats were a hoax originating from outside of the United States.
After discussions with administrators from the affected schools, the Fortuna Police Department contacted FBI colleagues about turning this incident into a positive by assisting local schools in reviewing their plans and procedures for a potential threat of violence on their campuses.
Within days the training session was planned and organized, and invitations were sent out to schools from Smith River to Southern Humboldt County to attend the event this morning. The response was overwhelming, with many school districts well represented during the meeting.