Burbank Police, School District Issue Statement on Threats

Burroughs High School students rallied for the National School Walk Out on March 14. (Photo By Salvador Cabezas)

With so many rumors and an Instagram post from a fake account that is identified as being an official Burbank Unified School District account, a joint statement from both the School District and the Police Department has been released.

Police have been making a physical presence on Wednesday at all the middle and high schools to help ease fears. Burbank Unified School District Superintendent Matt Hill sent out a statement on Monday about the post that had been posted on a fake Instagram post. The post alluded to the Mental Health and Wellness Centers in place (both Burroughs and Burbank have one in place). There is no mention of weapons in the post. There was a report of another alleged threat made for Wednesday but not confirmed.

While the post has been taken down, some report on social media that it has been on-line for about a month but after the shooting at Saugus High last week, it was brought to the attention of officials. The post has since been taken down but the account is still on-line and active.

Here is the official release that has been sent out:

November 20, 2019

The Burbank Police Department is committed to providing a safe and secure environment in and around school campuses in the city of Burbank. Together with the Burbank Unified School District, the Burbank Police Department investigates any act, behavior, or threat that places fear in the minds of students, parents, or staff, or that compromises their safety.

Earlier this week, the Burbank Unified School District was made aware of a posting on social media, as well as verbal rumors, regarding a perceived threat to John Burroughs High School. The Burbank Unified School District immediately reported the circumstances to Burbank Police. Since then, Burbank Police Detectives have conducted an investigation into the matter and identified a person responsible. The investigation has shown the threat was not credible.

This unfortunate scenario has become quite common in schools across the United States. Sadly, we often see an increase in false or fake school threats immediately following news of a school tragedy, such as the recent incident at Saugus High School.

The Burbank Police Department and Burbank Unified School District understand that 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.

As part of our response to this incident, the Burbank Police Department assigned additional uniformed personnel to John Burroughs High School this morning. Police officers were present not just for added security, but to interact with students and address any questions or concerns they may have had. In addition, police officers wanted to provide students with reassurance that we are all committed to their safety and well-being.

Communication is an important part of building a strong partnership with students and parents. Open communication is also a key component in maintaining safety in our schools. We all need to work together, as a community, to create a safe and supportive learning environment. We encourage parents to discuss these events with your children. It is quite common for threats to originate and/or circulate on social media. We ask parents to monitor the activities of their children on social media, and to report anything suspicious or unusual. We also ask that you emphasize the seriousness of this issue with your children.

The Burbank Police Department would also like to remind our community that any threat directed towards a student(s), faculty member(s), or school, is a crime. Anyone suspected of orchestrating such a threat, helping to spread rumors of a threat, or committing any act that jeopardizes the safety of our schools or causes a disruption in education, will be held accountable for their actions.