Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

Classes resumed Thursday at Mira Costa High School, which was closed the past two days due to anonymous threats posted on the Yik Yak social messaging app.

Manhattan Beach police said Wednesday they have identified a girl believed to be responsible for at least one of the postings on the site. The girl, who is not a student at the school or any other Manhattan Beach Unified School District campus, was interviewed but was not arrested, according to Officer Stephanie Martin.

Martin said police are trying to determine if other people were involved in the postings, which led to the school being closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. Police said the postings began with vague and non-specific messages on Monday, but then became more threatening.

Students returned to the campus at 1401 Artesia Blvd. today, but under stepped-up security. Students were directed to one of four entry points to the campus, and they were encouraged not to bring bags or backpacks. Those who did bring bags or backpacks had them searched by police.

During class times, students will only be allowed out of classrooms if they are with their teacher, heading to or from a restroom with a hall pass or moving to another campus destination with a written pass, according to the school.

Counselors will be on the campus throughout the day.

“We had a conversation with our daughter about being cautious, scanning people around her, not being lost on your iPad,” parent Betsey Chambers told NBC4 at the campus.

“This is a great opportunity to just revisit this whole thing. It’s something we have to deal with, not be afraid of,” she said.

Mike Matthews, superintendent of the MBUSD, said the ordeal should also send a message to people who post threats online that “nothing is truly anonymous.”

“I believe the message is if you are going to post something like that, be prepared for the consequences,” he said.

The school was placed on lockdown for about an hour Monday, and security was stepped up, following the first anonymous threat on Yik Yak.

The post read, “If you go to Costa you should watch out very closely at school today,” police said.

On Monday night, police — in consultation with Dale — notified parents that classes would be canceled Tuesday, after a second threat was posted, with the author indicating that Monday was just a “drill.”

The last in the series of missives issued via the social media site Monday night came shortly before 9 p.m., warning that most high school shooters had issued warnings before carrying out their threats, but no one ever noticed.

Martin pointed out that while the initial message did not seem so explicitly threatening, the last one could easily be interpreted that way.

—City News Service

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