Santa Clara police say two teens now face felony charges after they were caught with a gun at Santa Clara Unified School District’s (SCUSD) New Valley High School.
On Thursday, Dec. 9, two students were involved in a fight on campus. The students were separated and that’s when a staff member says one of the students handed an object that looked like a gun to a bystander.
The staff member took the two students involved in the fight and the bystander to the school office. Santa Clara Police Department (SCPD) officers arrived in just three minutes. They searched the students and located a handgun.
The student who initially had the gun and the student who received the gun were both arrested. Each student was booked on two felony charges—conspiracy to commit a crime and threat to commit a crime. They also face a misdemeanor charge of exhibiting a firearm.
Police do not know where the student got the gun. Investigators say it is “unserialized and untraceable.”
SCPD Assistant Police Chief Wahid Kazem commended the school staff for their training and quick thinking.
“Good job on staff’s part for being so aware during those incidents. Those are difficult situations to keep ourselves composed enough to see what is happening and school staff took the appropriate steps of taking charge of the two students that were involved with [what they thought was] a handgun transaction,” said Kazem.
“We’re thankful for school staff for being so aware and taking proper steps and obviously, the responding officers to be able to safely unarm the juveniles who had the gun when we arrived,” continued Kazem.
SCUSD Superintendent Dr. Stella M. Kemp was also relieved.
“This was the very best outcome from what could have so easily been a much worse and tragic situation,” said Dr. Kemp. “I am proud of the New Valley staff for how they handled themselves and followed the protocols as the situation unfolded. Staff were trained, thoughtful, and deliberate. They did exactly what we train for but hope we never have to implement.
“I am equally grateful for our local law enforcement and the relationship we have with them,” continued Dr. Kemp. “They responded within minutes and expertly to ensure the safety of our students and staff and maintain open lines of communication with school and district staff throughout the day.”
New Valley High School has told students to reach out to CareSolace, an online service designed to connect people with counseling services if they need to talk. Students can also ask for a wellness check-in with the district’s clinical staff.