Mira Costa High School went on lockdown Monday when a student spotted a scary message on Yik Yak, an app that allows people to share thoughts or comments anonymously. “If you go to Costa, you should watch out,” it read. Later that day, two more threatening messages were posted, leading officials to keep the school closed until tomorrow.
In a note to families shared at Mira Costa High School’s Web site, principal Ben Dale says he is working on a plan for students to return safely to school. “We will be outlining orderly entry and exit, increased security and police presence, available counseling, what students will be allowed to bring and carry, and what movement will be allowed on campus during class time,” it says. (Update: The safety plan is now available here.) In an separate email sent to families, Manhattan Beach Unified School District superintendent Michael D. Matthews detailed the content of the concerning messages posted to Yik Yak, and said the district is anticipating more. He also disclosed that district officials have asked the app’s makers to make it impossible to use Yik Yak around Mira Costa’s campus and took the opportunity to criticize the app. “While its creators conceived it as a ‘central bulletin board’ for college campuses and other local communities, it has become a site full of racist, sexist, demeaning and sometimes threatening posts,” he wrote. “As far as I can see, this is a dangerous site with absolutely no redeeming values.”
An investigation into who posted the threats is underway, and anyone with information is asked to call officials at (310) 802-5140.
With reporting by Jesy Odio