Parents React To School Lockout In Cathedral City

Tiani Jadulang

A close call for another school here in the valley, but fortunately authorities and school officials worked promptly to ensure everyone’s safety. 

“It did scare me a little bit. When I was crossing the stop. I saw a bunch of cops. The first thing you think is you know something’s happening at the school.” says Armando Diaz, a parent whose child attends Rio Vista Elementary School.

A scary moment for many parents at Rio Vista Elementary School,  after a concerning message from the school’s principal Wednesday morning.

One of the messages that Rio Vista Elementary School’s Principal, Aaron Tarzian sent out to parents said, “Cat city police just called us and placed us on lockout. There is no police activity on our campus or threat on our campus at this time. There is police activity in our area.”

The lockout came out of an abundance of caution, due to the threat off-campus at a nearby home. 

Police say that home was of a teen from James Workman Middle School, who was reportedly sending threatening messages to other students and flashing guns.

Parents were immediately informed of the incident, using an online website where they receive messages from principles and other administration.

“I saw the text, you know that it was something not related to school. So that gave me a little bit of, you know, comfort knowing that it wasn’t related to school.” Diaz says.

With schools around the Coachella Valley having similar instances, these parents are very happy with how quickly they received all messages and updates.

“I think everything, everything that they did, the school, the way they you know, the way they reacted, it was perfect. I really liked it. I really appreciate it.” Diaz says about how the school handled the situation.

The lockout lasted 20 minutes in total,  and even with the lockout, students at Rio Vista Elementary were able to be dismissed at their set time.

Now the teen was transferred to Indio Juvenile Hall. 

The department wanted to remind parents to monitor their child’s activity on their cell phones, apps, and social media.    

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