School District's Response in Disturbing Internet Video

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By Sally Jenkins

Last night I attended the Safety Forum held at San Marcos High School regarding the disturbing internet video that's been discussed on edhat. 

I have personally not seen the video, it's not available anywhere I've looked. I've spoken to many parents who have seen the video and in summary, they have said it was posted on a type of internet chat room that featured a male student with an older gun with a bayonet, as well as neo-Nazi images. He's apparently seen describing how he would target and assault/attack specific students, mostly females with some of the assault discussed being sexual in nature. There also appeared to a be a lot of other male students participating in the online discussion around these types of assaults and targets.

Again, I haven't seen the video, but the other parents I've spoken with said it was very violent, misogynistic, targets minorities and people of color, and promotes a rape culture. 

The Santa Barbara Unified School District Superintendent, Cary Matsuoka, was at the meeting and he apologized to everyone in the audience, mostly parents, for not notifying them in a timely manner and said he underestimated the impact of the video. We received a letter from the school, long after the video was being discussed, that said the threat was just made by a small group against a larger group of students. It involved students from San Marcos High, Dos Pueblos High, Santa Barbara High and La Colina Jr High. 

Law enforcement was also there and talked about the search warrants they served and determined there was no immediate threat, but it's still an active investigation and cannot give any more details. 

Ultimately, this is a scary thing. After the 2014 tragedy and murder in Isla Vista, we cannot let this slide. Imagine what could have been avoided if law enforcement dug deeper into their investigation of Elliot Rodger? We simply cannot look this over as a "joke" or "boys being boys." 

The school board, educators, the district, and teachers need to do better. They failed parents and students in this incident, from what I can assume was an attempt to not have bad press or issues with parents. Students need to be held accountable and then educated on what is ok and what isn't ok, that includes in person and online. 

Step up Santa Barbara Unified School District, do better for our children and for our community.

 

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CivilEngineer Feb 08, 2018 10:42 AM
School District's Response in Disturbing Internet Video

What I want to know is why the sheriff kicked this case to the DA instead of investigating it? Seems like there was something political going on with it- connections or money. Only then did the DA get search warrants and look for evidence. Do you think there was any evidence left by that time?

a-1539856354 Feb 07, 2018 11:42 AM
School District's Response in Disturbing Internet Video

Using Elliot Rodger as an example to criticize the Sheriffs department is weak. I don't know anything about this current situation, but regarding the IV incident...the Sheriffs did everything they legally could. Until laws are changed regarding gun control, there was nothing that could have changed that outcome and so to blame the Sheriffs department is either being naive of the facts or purposefully dishonest.

a-1539856354 Feb 07, 2018 08:50 AM
School District's Response in Disturbing Internet Video

From the articles posted it appears that the school took action quickly to notify the Sheriff and contact the students. It also appears that the video was not done on school resources or time and was posted in a "private" site. It also seems that the school intervened professionally and worked to lessen the impact of the students' behaviors. Why so much hostility toward the faculty and administration--this sort of anger and cheap shots does not encourage people to engage in this critical function of educating our children. And, btw, $300K is not such a large salary in this day. I think there are a lot of "Realtors" and stock brokers and accountants and firefighters making a lot more than that.

nicholas Feb 07, 2018 03:00 PM
School District's Response in Disturbing Internet Video

The school knew about the video on a Thursday then waited six days to inform parents about it. I am a San Marcos parent and know that to be the true timeframe. Indeed the school admits it took them six days to address this issue. I think that was far too long to sit on this event hoping it would just go away.

a-1539856354 Feb 07, 2018 11:40 AM
School District's Response in Disturbing Internet Video

My other agenda is that people should think and reason and give some time in their thoughts before they react emotionally by trying to blame others. The point of the comment about not being done on school time is that the school is not able to monitor thousands of students 24/7 nor should we expect them to do so. If you tell us that the school knew of the video and its source and didn't care or act about it in context of their mission I would be concerned but everything I see here, except some rants by people who want to be victims, seems to support that the school did act when it could and had the information to act.

a-1539856354 Feb 07, 2018 10:37 AM
School District's Response in Disturbing Internet Video

Most parents were alerted to this threat six days after it was first discovered. I would not classify that as a quick action. Also, a friend of my daughter's, who was informed on the previous Friday that she was named on the "hit list" arrived to class on the following Monday only to find the boy that threatened her sitting in that same class! How did this "lessen the impact" on this young woman? Also, I do not understand your point about the video itself. Are you saying that it is OK to make a video inciting violence toward other students as long as it is not "done on school resources or time"? That it is perfectly fine for a group of boys to talk about murdering and raping their fellow students as long as this conversation is help on a "private site"? Do you actually believe what you have written or do you have some other agenda?

a-1539856354 Feb 07, 2018 10:16 AM
School District's Response in Disturbing Internet Video

If you are making only $100K and supervising a multi-million dollar budget, huge staff and taking the political heat that this employee is getting you are being screwed. Simple.

a-1539856354 Feb 07, 2018 09:11 AM
School District's Response in Disturbing Internet Video

"$300K is not such a large salary in this day"....... really? Maybe not if you're a billionaire, but remember, there are many of us "lowly" residents not even making a third of this salary. Try not to forget your audience.

Red Creek Feb 07, 2018 08:08 AM
School District's Response in Disturbing Internet Video

The District, and probably most institutions in SB area, are conservative when it comes to scandals or incidents which make them look bad. They go into hush up or cover up mode, often not dealing with the perps properly, and isolating but not firing incompetent or worse staff or teachers. Overall, the vast majority of DIstrict staff are hard working and dedicated people, and they and innocent students suffer the most from the lack of dealing openly with problems.

jqb Feb 06, 2018 11:53 PM
School District's Response in Disturbing Internet Video

"Again, I haven't seen the video, but the other parents I've spoken with said it was very violent, misogynistic, targets minorities and people of color, and promotes a rape culture. " All things that Ducky approves of.

CoastWatch Feb 06, 2018 04:22 PM
School District's Response in Disturbing Internet Video

First off, what all you "outraged" parents need to understand, is that you in in CALIFORNIA... where YOU, the voting idiots, like to tie the criminal justice system's hands in a tight knot... The CA laws now protect ALL criminal juveniles like they are a protected class (like every other criminal in CA). Law enforcement and the DA's can't and won't prosecute juveniles UNTIL they actually do physical harm AND there is enough sufficient evidence to prosecute- Even then, it's a wrap on the wrist with little to no consequence(s)... So you see, this is the result you get when you live in an Uber-liberal State with voters, legislators and our esteemed Moon Beam Governor Brown... So get over your cryin' 'cause YOU are responsible for our current lack-luster laws and weak justice system.

CoastWatch Feb 06, 2018 05:50 PM
School District's Response in Disturbing Internet Video

Sorry if the facts / truth are not something you'd like to hear or face, but the fact is that laws have changed in CA and they are not in favor of victims of crime- All due to how the voting public passed laws submitted by their "representatives"... Ask anyone in Law enforcement or the DA's office if you think I'm exaggerating ...

420722 Feb 06, 2018 04:09 PM
School District's Response in Disturbing Internet Video

This is about more than an antique musket, why you keep referencing the type of gun used in the video is beyond me and not really relevant. It is about what they said. Elliot Rogers made a video saying what he was gonna do, AND HE DID IT! Expel these idiot kids and send them to camp, counseling or what ever other program can help them to know that what they did was wrong on every level.

Ducky Feb 06, 2018 03:58 PM
School District's Response in Disturbing Internet Video

Again, show me the video. So far, all I’ve heard is a bunch of vile, nasty words from people who have NOT seen it but whom are supposed to behave like rational adults. You’re talking about very young people who made a stupid mistake (with an antique musket) and who’s brains are far from developed,. Frankly, you people and your witch-hunt are far scarier than anything I’ve seen from any SMHS kids. Set down your torches before you cause irreparable injury.

a-1539856354 Feb 06, 2018 04:03 PM
School District's Response in Disturbing Internet Video

DUCKY - and again, it is NOT up to you to judge the video to determine whether a crime was committed. Leave it up to the professionals. We don't need your "legal analysis" of the video, especially with your apparent bias against the young women who were threatened.

a-1539856354 Feb 06, 2018 04:02 PM
School District's Response in Disturbing Internet Video

DUCKY - if you had kids, you'd know how parents feel when they learn their daughters were specifically threatened and the school knew, yet did not inform them until days later. Why you insist on defending these idiots is beyond me.

salsipuedes Feb 06, 2018 02:03 PM
School District's Response in Disturbing Internet Video

Cary wants it both ways: He's come to town with an inexperienced school board (only 1 member elected) that votes his way all the time. In his 19 months, he decided to shut down Open Alternative School, sent several dedicated, longtime employees packing (including the former public information person who NEVER would have allowed this mess to happen), and promoted the expenditure of $39 million for a football stadium while doing nothing to improve the miserable conditions in so many classrooms, scoffing that it doesn't get hot enough for air conditioning. But now he wants understanding because he didn't actually realize this community might have been traumatized by horrific violence because he's only been here for 19 months. Really, who counts 19 months? It's more than a year and a half. Plenty of time to do some research, but he seemed so surprised that Santa Barbara wasn't the wealthy, perfect enclave he expected when he got here. What community wouldn't be traumatized and up-in-arms by the contents of this video whether the events had happened in IV or not? He wants our understanding for his tone-deafness, slow response to addressing violent threats to actual students and overall poor leadership. He even managed to get himself a nice pay raise in those 19 months while he couldn't be bothered learning about the community that pays him well over $300,000. Being a superintendent requires a lot more vision, and ability to connect with others and to embrace a community than he's shown since he arrived on the scene.

a-1539856354 Feb 06, 2018 06:12 PM
School District's Response in Disturbing Internet Video

Transparent California doesn't have the most recent information, but when Cary was hired, it was widely reported that he was awarded a salary of $260, 164, the same as Dr. Cash. Dr. Cash's base salary in 2015 was $253,800, with benefits bumping it up to $316,918. (it's now reported as less because he's retired.) So, yes, he does make that much. It's shocking how much they get paid.

a-1539856354 Feb 06, 2018 01:36 PM
School District's Response in Disturbing Internet Video

They will be arrested for their criminal threats. This is a failure on the part of SBUSD. These boys need to spend some time in Las Prietos boys camp and when they get out they need to be at a different school, preferably in another county. Some of the video can be found here: http://www.keyt.com/news/santa-barbara-s-county/disturbing-video-threatening-several-santa-barbara-area-students-leaves-parents-shaken-up/690776746

a-1539856354 Feb 06, 2018 12:51 PM
School District's Response in Disturbing Internet Video

When asked whether the offenders would be removed from San Marcos; Superintendent Matsuoka replied "the State of California is moving away from the trend of expulsion because such policies had adverse effects on people of color". Seriously? What about the adverse affect on students of all colors who have to share classrooms with these spooks? Don't they matter? The kids who have done nothing wrong have to live in fear wondering if some crazy is going to pull out a bayonet. My daughter has been traumatized by this incident but it appears that her adverse experience does not matter to Cary Matsuoka. All he is offering is an assurance that he will inform us parents a bit sooner next time our kids are threatened with a violent hate crime. Thanks Cary.

a-1539856354 Feb 06, 2018 01:00 PM
School District's Response in Disturbing Internet Video

How does expulsion affect people of color differently? Sounds like some BS. Also, you are exactly right - why should the potential victims be endangered because they don't want to adversely affect people of color? Who cares? If you threaten my kid, I don't care what color you are, you need to go!

a-1539856354 Feb 06, 2018 12:45 PM
School District's Response in Disturbing Internet Video

I’d also say step up parents. You are responsible for the children you raise. Make sure they know right from wrong and how to treat others with decency and compassion. Know what your kids are up to.

a-1539856354 Feb 06, 2018 12:22 PM
School District's Response in Disturbing Internet Video

Step up, SB Unified School District? Grand Jury time. Outside review is needed. Don't ask the people who are making serious mistakes to suddenly understand right from very very wrong. Fire the superintendent. A good start. He apologized, with his attorney sitting next to him. He needs protection, but the girls don't measure up for protection?

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