Burbank Unified School District Superintendent John Paramo gave new details after a 13-year-old BUSD student was arrested Thursday for allegedly posting criminal threats on social media.
Burbank Police Department spokesman Stephen Turner said in a statement that detectives were made aware of a possible threat against Luther Burbank Middle School Wednesday evening on social media.
Paramo told the Leader that the student was arrested Thursday morning, and that the arrest did not take place at a school site. There was no need for a lockdown as a result.
“The information about a potential threat to Luther went directly to BPD on Wednesday evening. The district was notified on Thursday morning. There was no lockdown,” Paramo said Friday.
After finding the post, police initiated an investigation to identify the person responsible for the threat, Turner said. Police then arrested a 13-year-old student and released him into the custody of his parents with a citation for criminal threats, he said.
Detectives also recovered a replica firearm, which had been depicted in the social media post.
The school district and police corrected online rumors, which officials said exacerbated fears that a shooting incident would take place.
“The police investigated, and they determined there was no credible threat. Unfortunately, rumors are circulating on social media sites. Please be assured that if there are any concerns about your child’s safety, we will inform you immediately. Luther is safe, and there is no threat to students and staff. We wish to thank BPD for their assistance. We take all alleged threats very seriously. If you hear something concerning, please get in touch with school administrators or law enforcement. If there is an urgent concern outside of school hours, you can also call law enforcement,” Paramo said in an email to district stakeholders.
Police issued a similar statement Thursday:
“The Burbank Police Department and Burbank Unified School District understand the rumors of a threat cause fear and anxiety in the minds of children and parents. Together, we want to assure you that incidents like these are taken seriously, investigated thoroughly, with those responsible being held accountable to the fullest extent permitted by law,” the BPD said in a statement.
Anyone with additional information regarding the school threat is urged to contact BPD detectives at (818) 238-3210. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477. During non-business hours or weekends, calls should be directed to (818) 238-3000.
First published in the September 30 print issue of the Burbank Leader.