Sunny Hills High School to Reopen Thursday After No Threat Found

A police car is parked in front of Orange High School Tuesday morning.EXPAND
A police car is parked in front of Orange High School Tuesday morning.
Brian Feinzimer/Feinzimer Photography for OC Weekly

UPDATE NO. 3, DEC. 16, 12:07 P.M.: Sunny Hills High School has been given the all-clear after a check of the campus by school security and Fullerton Police, according to the school district. More details were released about the nature of the threat. A staff member found a note taped to a door of a Sunny Hills administration building before school started today. The note made a threat to a specific student and was not related to terrorism. Sunny Hills will reopen tomorrow morning, district officials say.  

UPDATE NO. 2, DEC. 16, 10:08 A.M.: Fullerton Joint Union High School District sent the following message to parents today:

Sunny Hills High School experienced a perceived student threat on the safety to the students and staff. Out of an abundance of caution, the principal and superintendent made the decision to close Sunny Hills High School for the day. Police are on campus and are conducting a sweep of the campus. Nothing has been found; however, out of an abundance of caution, the campus is closed for the day. All other schools are open.

UPDATE NO. 1, DEC. 16, 8:43 A.M.: Here we go again. The following is posted on the Sunny Hills High School website:

Posted on 12/16/2015
We are investigating a threat to the campus and school will be closed today. 

No other Fullerton schools are closed, according to police. We'll update when we know more.

ORIGINAL POST, DEC. 16, 6 A.M.: Tuesday began with a terror bomb threat at Los Angeles Unified School District campuses—which turned out to be a hoax—and ended with a report of a gunman in a red, yellow and orange sweatshirt at Orange's Chapman University—which turned out to be unfounded.

Indeed, Twitter was atwitter with tweets about "the gun" at Chapman actually being a banana.

Yes, the international frightening has come to this. Tuesday morning's "electronic threat" closed more than 900 LAUSD campuses, prompting a painstaking search of each, until it became clear that a hoaxster had struck. Still, LA police plan to closely watch the schools for the rest of the week.

The LA threat/hoax did not prompt similar closures in Orange County, but various local school officials did reassure parents and students that they were aware of—and closely monitoring—the situation.

The Weekly heard pre-recorded robo-calls from the Irvine and Newport-Mesa unified school districts, whose officials briefed parents on the LA threat, how they were keeping their local schools open and how personnel would be available at each campus to answer any questions.

Not long after news of the LAUSD closures were publicized on morning news programs, a photographer for the Weekly encountered a police presence at Orange High School—and the snapper reported being told the leave the area by a rather tense officer. It's unclear whether that had anything to do with the LA threat, however.

If that was not enough to spook a Southern California news viewing and listening audience, there were lockdowns of three schools in San Bernardino—yes, there!—due to gunshots being fired.

But back at home ...

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"We are monitoring the situation and there are no threats to Orange County or Laguna Beach," Laguna Beach Police Sgt. Tim Kleiser told City News Service by Tuesday midday. "We have been in communication with the local schools in Laguna Beach and officers have increased patrols near the schools."

Garden Grove Police Capt. Ben Stauffer and Orange Lt. Fred Lopez also said their respective departments were monitoring the situation as normal operations continued in both cities. Huntington Beach Officer Jennifer Marlatt said the same goes for Surf City, Fountain Valley and Westminster.

Brea Police Lt. Darrin Devereux offered that patrol and motorcycle officers were making a more visible presence around schools there, something that was repeated by police officials in Irvine, Fullerton and Westminster. Marlatt offered that her officers are doing patrol checks of schools in between calls.

Orange County Sheriff's Lt. Jeff Hallock and Buena Park Cpl. Bret Carter told City News Service there were no changes in patrolling in their agencies.

But before anyone could go to bed with the only discomfort coming from the GOP debate, the Chapman gunman report was made, some students were told to shelter in place, Orange Police checked out the campus and, after many tense moments, it was ultimately announced no threat was found.

The university responded by returning to normal operations.

For now.

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Sunny Hills High School

1801 Warburton Way
Fullerton, CA 92833


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