Vanden High School Closed after Threats

FAIRFIELD -- Vanden High School in Fairfield was closed Wednesday after school officials say threats were made against students.

"Yesterday, at approximately 11 o’clock, our staff was made aware of a threat of violence toward students at Vanden High School," Travis Unified School District Superintendent Pam Conklim said Wednesday morning. "Out of an abundance of caution, we decided to cancel school and all school activities today."

Conklim did not say if classes would resume on Thursday.

Some say the threats were racially motivated. One father claims the district did not do enough to handle earlier threats sooner.

Speaking at an NAACP press conference in San Francisco, Edward Russell says his son was the victim of a hate crime on Vanden's campus earlier this month.

"Some criminals spray painted my son’s name and a derogatory comment before his name, a swastika and 'USA for Trump,'" Russell said.

While those students who spray painted the threats were discovered by school officials, Russell says they were only suspended for a few days.

“We told Mr. Sardi, the principal, and Mr. Louise that we wanted those criminals removed from the school because they still had access to our son," Russell said. "They said they could not do that. They were suspended for five days for vandalism, not a hate crime, for vandalism."

Russell says the school told him the threats that closed the school on Wednesday were not related to his son.

"There’s a crime and the punishment should fit the crime," Joe Gonzalez, whose grandson attends Vanden, told FOX40.

Gonzalez says he's disappointed with how the school has gotten this way.

"You know, they just think they can do now whatever they want or say whatever they want," he said. "We still need to respect each other."

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