May 23, 2018
by David Weinshilboum
Editor’s note: David Weinshilboum has a son who attends Da Vinci Charter Academy High School in Davis.
Davis police continue to investigate a Davis high school senior who on Monday evening posted a threatening message on social media about a school shooting. Davis Police Lieutenant and Public Information Officer Paul Doroshov said a “threat assessment investigation” was ongoing to determine how dangerous the student was.
On Monday night a Da Vinci Charter Academy high-school senior wrote disparaging comments about gay people and women, called for a school shooting, and warned women on campus to “expect to be ‘merced,’” a slang term meaning to kill or hurt someone. Doroshov called the post on Instagram both inflammatory and threatening.
According to a Tuesday morning email from Da Vinci Principal Tyler Millsap, students and parents who saw the post notified school officials; after learning of the Instagram message, district leaders and the Davis police worked through the night to address the situation.
At some point, police visited the student’s residence, Doroshov reported. The student was then taken in for medical treatment. Doroshov said he could not elaborate on what medical treatment was sought. The 18-year-old student has not been charged with a crime, so iPinion will not disclose his name.
In a follow-up email to parents of Da Vinci students, Millsap reported that “the student is receiving the supports needed and we are certain that your student(s) is safe to be at school tomorrow.” Millsap also wrote that the Davis Police department would continue its presence on campus today (Wednesday).
This is not the first time the student under investigation has made violent threats. According to several Da Vinci students, the senior student threatened to kill another student during a class field trip in late February. The senior was suspended for the threat and had been absent for most of the spring term. He returned to campus on Monday, students reported. That night, he took to Instagram to call for a school shooting.
Tuesday afternoon, Da Vinci seemed to be bustling with students, like any other school day. The only differences were two police cruisers in the parking lot and police officers wandering about campus.
Davis police will continue to work with school officials and the Yolo County District Attorney’s office to determine whether criminal charges will be filed against the student, Doroshov said. Davis Joint Unified School District public information officers did not immediately return messages left by iPinion to discuss collaboration with the Davis police.
As the threat assessment continues, Davis Police will, as necessary, provide a presence on the Da Vinci campus. Said Doroshov, “We want to make people feel safe but we don’t want to overreact.”