Breaking: School issues all-clear after gun threat shelter-in-place


The Palo Alto Police Department monitors Centennial Plaza at Palo Alto High School following a gun threat discovered on campus early this morning. (Photo: Maxwell Zhang)

Brennen Ho, Maxwell Zhang, and Anna Feng

Students and staff are back in classes after a shooting threat led to an hour-long shelter-in-place starting at 9:16 a.m. today at Palo Alto High School.

At 10:25 a.m. another school-wide announcement lifted the shelter-in-place.

“We are lifting the shelter-in-place at 10:35, and classes will resume after brunch,” the announcement said. “There will be authorities on campus for the remainder of the day to ensure our safety.”

The shelter-in-place was initiated by a school-wide announcement by Paly administrators, who told staff and students to remain in their rooms, lock doors and close their window blinds, but to continue teaching.

A message was found outside Room 806, the AP Psychology classroom, that threatened to “shoot up this classroom at 9:15 a.m.”

According to a statement made by the Palo Alto Unified School District, the Palo Alto Police Department is currently working on investigating the threat. 

A separate tweet by the PAPD at 9:57 a.m. indicated no active emergency was found and that officers are working with school administrators to investigate. 

“As a precaution, Palo Alto HS is in a shelter-in-place due to a message discovered in a classroom,” the tweet said. “Students and staff are safe. Site administration is working with the Palo Alto PD to investigate.”

According to Maia Le, a student in AP Psychology, her class was asked to evacuate and their backpacks were left to be searched by the police. The class’s final exam was also canceled. 

“We got to class and it was normal,” Le said. “[AP Psychology teacher] Ms. [Melinda] Mattes was popping in and out dealing with a situation. She closed the blinds and shut the door and eventually, she came back with a bunch of admin and they told us to leave our stuff and we went to another room.”

This article will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.