Threatening video and posts prompt criminal probe at Santa Barbara school

A group of male Santa Barbara high school students have received disciplinary measures and are the subjects of an ongoing criminal probe after a threatening video and online posts about female students raised alarm on campus.

Following a minimum school day on Jan. 19., San Marcos High School staff received notification of threatening posts and a video discovered in a private Internet chatroom. Administrators immediately reported the issue to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s officials say a group of male students listed a group of female high school students and posted derogatory and vulgar descriptions of them. A male student also created a threatening video with what appeared to be an antique musket, a sheriff’s office press release states.

KCOY reports the video shows a young man pointing a musket into the camera, explaining how to load the weapon, how to kill and how to inflict greater harm by attaching a bayonet. The video contained derogatory language describing females.

Additionally, 16 female students were reportedly named in the posts. Investigators also found an Instagram page belonging to a student that had disturbing images.

The sheriff’s office news release states the video is disturbing in nature, but it did not specifically target any particular student at San Marcos High School. Authorities determined there was no immediate threat to students or the school.

School officials notified the families of the female students who were mentioned in the posts. Sheriff’s investigators worked with school administrators to identify the students responsible for creating the post, as well as the student who created the video.

On Jan. 22, the next school day, officials contacted the responsible students when they arrived on campus. The Santa Barbara Unified School District took undisclosed action against the students.

The case remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division.