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Franklin High Placed On Lockdown Yesterday After Report Of Man With A Gun, Following Recent String Of School SWATing Incidents

1:51 PM PDT on October 18, 2022

    Welcome to L.A. TACO’s new monthly education column, “The L.A. Public School Report.” If you have any story tips, send them to for consideration.

    Yesterday morning Franklin Highschool in Highland Park was briefly placed on a school-wide lockdown, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles School Police Department (LASPD) confirmed with L.A. TACO Monday evening.

    At around 8:45 AM yesterday, authorities received a report of “a person in possession of a gun in a classroom,” the spokesperson said. “Franklin High is on lock down at the moment,” a concerned family-member took to Twitter just a few minutes later. “My nephew just text (sic) me but doesn’t know why. He hasn’t heard any loud noises like gun fire.”

    Officers began searching the campus upon arrival for a suspect or victims. “After searching the campus and reviewing all the safety concerns, the determination was made that the school could be released from lockdown and resumed normal operations,” a spokesperson for LASPD said in a statement on Monday.

    In recent weeks a number of Southern California public schools have faced similar threats. Hollywood High was shut down last month while police searched for possible victims or an active shooter. And earlier this month, ABC 7 reported that Segerstrom High School in Santa Ana was locked down after police received “an anonymous call reporting an armed suspect on campus.” Police found no threat and the school reopened.

    The recent lockdowns in L.A. are part of a larger trend seen nationally of schools being targets for “swatting” — or calling in an illegitimate threat in order to trigger a heavy handed police response. Earlier this month, WIRED reported that “a swatting spree is terrorizing schools across the US.” In three weeks last month, at least 90 false reports of school shooters were reported across sixteen states. According to state and local law enforcement officials that spoke to WIRED, “many of these swatting attacks seem to stem from a single person or group.”

    ‘Keep the kids safe’

    The unsubstantiated threat that led to the lockdown at Franklin came weeks after hundreds of students signed a petition demanding better learning conditions and just days after the Highland Park school was reportedly vandalized.

    Last month, more than 700 students signed a petition demanding that the Highland Park school reopen bathrooms that have been closed for months and fix AC units. The bathroom closures have reportedly led to long restroom lines and students limiting their water intake. “For girls it’s hectic, especially when it’s that time of the month,” a Franklin student told CBS News.

    In a statement, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Unified School District told L.A. TACO, “LA Unified continues to work aggressively to resolve air conditioning issues at every school…the safety and well-being of our students remains a top priority.”

    On Monday, photos of walls and lockers apparently inside of Franklin smeared with bright red paint surfaced on social media. “There is no reason for this to be happening at any school,” a popular Instagram account that keeps tabs on what’s happening in Highland Park wrote on IG Monday morning. “What is the point? Is it a Halloween Prank? Is it a statement?”

    In one photo, the words “keep the kids safe,” are written across a wall in red paint.

    A spokesperson for LASPD described the vandalism and lockdown as being “unrelated,” but confirmed that over the weekend “numerous classrooms” were broken into and vandalized. In addition to covering walls in red “paint,” an unknown number of suspects also reportedly damaged “laptops and other equipment,” the spokesperson said. “This is an ongoing investigation.”

    This morning, community members reported that the suspects who allegedly vandalized Franklin had been caught. As of publishing though, police could not confirm if any suspects had been identified or detained.

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