Texas and California Schools Face False Active Shooter Reports


Fake school shooter claims prompts police deployment at Hollywood High School in California

Noelle Wu, Photojournalist

Although I want to see a change in the future, as of now, we must unite together to stand against scares like this.

— Micah Wu (11)

School shootings are serious, fatal, and unpredictable. So, it’s only natural that when Texas and California police departments received phone calls regarding a potential school shooting, they reacted immediately. On Tuesday, September 13, 2022, a dozen Texas and California schools faced comparable threats from suspected active shooters, calling for lockdowns on Tuesday. The same phone number has shown up in each false call, suggesting a correlation between the hoax calls, as the FBI is currently investigating. “Whether these are related, we don’t know yet,” said Santa Barbara Police Sergeant Ethan Ragsdale. “But potentially they are.” When the 9-1-1 call came in soon before 1 p.m., cautioning dispatchers to an active shooting, approximately 100 law enforcement officers were promptly deployed to Bishop Diego High School, according to Ragsdale. It took roughly a half-hour for police authorities to investigate the school inside and out to confirm that no armed suspect was present. Ragsdale expresses his gratitude for the fact that it was a false alarm but stresses how terrible it is to put students in such a manic and terrified state.

Hollywood High School in Hollywood, California, was placed on lockdown after a caller claimed six people had been shot. The Los Angeles Unified School District tweeted out, “Recent reports of a critical incident at Hollywood high school are unfounded and, after swift law enforcement response and internal individual classroom verification, we are deeming the incident as a hoax.” Following the disturbance, classes resumed at around 11 am. Moreover, at around 9:30 am, a caller alerted dispatchers that there were three armed individuals at Nishimoto Elementary School in Madera, California, causing the school to go into lockdown. Due to the purported threat, Jack G. Desmond Middle School and Matilda High School were both placed on lockdown as well. Madera police added that they consider these claims actively and are looking into who made the fraudulent 911 call.

At 1 p.m., police officials in Houston, Texas, reacted to an alleged active shooter at Heights High School. According to detectives, the caller first informed law enforcement that there were ten victims at the high school. Waco departments received similar calls, eliciting a lockdown at Waco High School, Lake Air Montessori Magnet School, Hillcrest, and Crestview Elementary School in addition to Hogg Middle School, Harvard and Travis Elementary School in Houston. At around 3:40 pm, Waco police assured, “Officers and surrounding agencies have cleared Waco High School, and we have confirmed there is no active shooter.”

As the FBI, California, and Texas police departments investigate the hoax calls, the United States of America sits at the edge of its seat, wondering what will happen next. Yorba Linda High School student Micah Wu (11) signifies his concern by saying, “American schools have gone through it all regarding safety and peril. Although I want to see a change in the future, as of now, we must unite together to stand against scares like this.” Hearing a student’s voice regarding the situation certainly stresses the need for unification for schools across America. During these times, support is essential.