A Merced high school goes on lock-down

March 23, 2013 12:42:25 AM PDT
Merced police say a gang-related dispute and reports of weapons led to a lockdown at Golden Valley High School Friday.

The campus is located on Childs Avenue near Parsons Avenue. Nearby Pioneer Elementary and Weaver Middle Schools were also locked down as a precaution.

The campus is quiet now, but earlier Friday it was packed with parents who got a variety of alarming text messages from their children. Some students also used Facebook and Twitter to spread the news. Merced police say they did not find any weapons on campus, but they did take several students in for questioning.

More than 100 parents waited helplessly outside the gates of Golden Valley High School as rumors spread about the reason for the lockdown. Many kept a close eye on their cell phones, waiting for updates from their children.

One father of a student said, "She text me at 11 o'clock saying we're on lockdown. There are kids with guns on campus, and we are hiding in a room."

Nearly two hours later, they learned the lockdown was lifted after officers secured the campus. Students were then released to their families. Many greeted by hugs and tears of relief.

Madison mason, a Golden Valley High School student said, "It feels really good to be back with my mom."

Robie Mason, parent said, "When it hits this close to home, I mean you see it on TV and your heart goes out to those families, but when it comes to you, it's a totally different feeling."

Merced police say the situation stemmed from a gang-related fight among students that started earlier this week and continued Friday morning. They received reports of possible guns or knives on campus, which led to the lockdown. But officers did not find any weapons during their search.

Lt. Bimley West of Merced Police Dept. Said, "Our investigators have 10 students who are not in custody but who have knowledge about the fights that have been occurring here on campus or after school, and they're investigating as to the fullest extent of where this is going."

The principal tells me some of the students involved in the incident do not have gang ties. And the superintendent says the district works closely with police and its school resource officers to try to keep gang violence away from its campuses.

He also said administrators will continue working to get students involved in positive activities as a pro-active way to keep them out of trouble.


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