Indio High School students confuse Imperial threat for local

Some students were afraid to go to school

Indio High School Students confuse Imperial threat for local

INDIO, Calif. - Campus security is a major concern following last week's mass shooting at a high school in Florida. On Wednesday, tensions at Indio High School were even more elevated after rumors swirled on social media about a threat. The only problem was that it was all a misunderstanding. 

"At first I didn't want to believe that it's real, but my thoughts were, I was pretty afraid," said Karla Martinez, an 11th-grader at the school.

Martinez told KESQ News Channel 3's and CBS Local 2's Katie Widner that she saw something on Instagram on Tuesday night that terrified her.

"There was another student that put up this message talking about maybe Indio High School being the one to get an active shooter," she said. "My thoughts were I was pretty afraid. I didn't know what to do." 

The rumor quickly made the rounds, scaring both students and parents.

"All of the teenagers are scared. None of them wanted to go to school," said Sonia Aguilar, whose son goes to Indio High. "I mean I'm a mom and I was getting crazy, I didn't want to let him go nowhere."

It turned out, the situation was all a big misunderstanding. 

"Our students simply saw the postings, the IHS, didn't notice the date difference and began to become concerned," said Mary Perry, the public information officer for Desert Sands Unified School District. "As it turns out, after consulting with law enforcement and researching the situation, it was discovered that IHS actually meant Imperial High School."            

That school is about 80 miles away, located south of the Salton sea, but it has the same acronym. Last week, an 18-year-old senior there was arrested for making criminal threats and given a five day suspension. Those threats reportedly set for Tuesday in Imperial.

None-the-less, DSUSD said the Indio HS had heightened security on campus as an extra precaution, and while they applaud the students who noticed the threat on social media, people should always look into what they are reading before acting upon it- even during this time of heightened awareness.

School officials said no matter what though, if you see something, you should reach out to school administration and say something. Always call 911 if it's immediate.

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