PSS launches investigation to identify prankster

THE Public School System has launched an investigation to identify the person who, in an email, threatened to shoot students at Saipan Southern High School on Friday morning.

SSHS Vince Dela Cruz said they immediately called 911 when a teacher showed him the email supposedly sent by one of the students.

“We locked down all the classrooms to protect the students and our staff,” Dela Cruz said in an interview. 

The students remained in their classrooms while  officers from the Department of Public Safety conducted their own investigation. 

After more than an hour, DPS made an all-clear announcement.

Dela Cruz said a student’s email account was hacked and that it was used by someone to send a prank message to the teacher. 

“Somebody used [the student’s] account to send the email. I know the student. He is a good kid,” Dela Cruz said.

The student, he added, likes to play interactive games.  “Somebody used his phone and used his email account or he shared his password with his fellow gamers,” Dela Cruz told Variety.

During the lockdown, he said the situation on campus remained “under control.” “We have a protocol,” Dela Cruz added. 

Asked if the school will take disciplinary action against the prankster, he replied: “We are still investigating the incident. It really depends on the [mental or emotional] condition of the student — if he is a student here.”

Dela Cruz advised his students never to share their passwords with anyone. 

“Let this be a lesson. Log out when you are done using your email and do not let anyone use your phone,” he added.

In a statement, Education Commissioner Glenn Muna said:  “We are still conducting an investigation as to who may have sent out the email. We take any and all threats seriously. The safety of our students and staff is always a priority.”

Police response 

In a separate interview, Department of Public Safety Commissioner Robert Guerrero said police officers met with the student whose email address was used to send the message. Police also  inspected a computer and other electronic devices, he added.

Guerrero said the Office of the Attorney General will file charges if warranted.

According to Press Secretary Kevin Bautista, PSS followed the standard active shooter protocol by putting Saipan Southern High School and the surrounding areas including Koblerville Elementary School on lockdown.

Bautista reminded the general public to report any suspicious activity to law enforcement. 

“If you see something, say something. Schools are drug- and weapon-free zones. Violators will be prosecuted, and threats will be handled accordingly.”

(With Bryan Manabat)

Source: Marianas Variety :

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