Iron Horse Middle School ends lockdown instigated by graffiti threat | News | |


Iron Horse Middle School ends lockdown instigated by graffiti threat

Police investigating shooting threat; lockdown out of 'extreme abundance of caution'

San Ramon's Iron Horse Middle School was placed on lockdown for more than three hours on Thursday in what school district officials called “an extreme abundance of caution” after graffiti threatening a shooting was found on campus earlier in the day.

The lockdown was initiated at approximately 10 a.m. after graffiti was found on a bathroom wall Thursday morning that read “school shooting at 12 p.m.,” according to San Ramon Valley Unified School District officials.

While police officers did not believe that the campus was is in imminent danger, approximately 15 district officials and police personnel remained on campus to play it safe while the investigation was underway.

"We want to reassure you that everyone is safe,” principal Demetrius Ball said in an email to parents and community members shortly after the lockdown was announced. “We are working to ensure that students have water and food. The police are remaining on campus to ensure that students and staff feel safe and protected.”

According to district officials, police have determined that there is no identified credible threat but will still remain on campus for the rest of the day.

The lockdown was lifted just after 1 p.m. Thursday.

“We want to congratulate the staff and students on their patience and thank them for their cooperation during the lockdown,” district officials said in a statement. “Additionally, we want to thank the San Ramon Police Department for their work to keep our campuses safe and protected. We also need to acknowledge the numerous district personnel who were on site to help. Thank you to our families for their commitment to supporting us in following protocols to keep the campus safe.”

Further adding that the district will analyze the policies and procedures enacted during the lockdown in order to see if any improvements can be made to the district’s response.

“Though these actions are extreme, we prefer to err on the side of caution to make sure that the campus is safe,” Ball said during the lockdown. “We understand that this kind of news is very unsettling. Please be assured that there is nothing more important to me or this district than the safety of our students and our staff.”

For students who feel anxious about being kept on lockdown, SRVUSD staff say The National Association of School Psychologists has some good talking points for parents and guardians to communicate more effectively with their child.

As San Ramon police officers continue to investigate the threat, SRVUSD officials remind students and residents who see something, to say something. Each SRVUSD school has its own anonymous tip line link posted to their website that anyone can use to send information on this threat or other concerning issues. Residents can also call the San Ramon Police Department at 973-2779.

Residents are also encouraged to email any questions to

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.


15 people like this
Posted by Iron Horse Student
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 7, 2019 at 3:51 pm

I am a seventh grade student at IHMS and was stuck on campus in my second period class for three hours. Most of my friends were afraid they were going to die today and were telling their parents how much they love them. A few kids had breakdowns, others threw up when they heard the news of the bathroom graffiti. I for one was terrified as most were and the teachers and staff were very brave through the tough time that was today. I have deep respect for the police and would like to thank them so much for keeping the school as safe as possible. I am so relieved that everyone got through this. I love my community and it is going to take more than one threat to take me and my friends down.

8 people like this
Posted by Barbara
a resident of Danville
on Nov 7, 2019 at 4:32 pm

@Iron Horse Student, thank you so much for giving us a first-person account of this scary experience. It sounds like you and your classmates dealt with it as well as possible, and your respect for the police is so refreshing. We are lucky to have young people like you living in our community!

5 people like this
Posted by Pine Valley Student
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 7, 2019 at 6:20 pm

I go to pine valley not to far away from iron horse, my friends go there and this is very sad that it’s happening in our town, I hope that this does not countinue and you all stay safe!

2 people like this
Posted by Nick
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 13, 2019 at 7:32 am

I understand the schools decision. Erring on the side of caution. I would think if someone was going to shoot up the school they would just do it. And not warn anyone ahead of time. Empty threats happen all the time, and scare the crap out of kids and parents.

Like this comment
Posted by Iron Horse Student
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 14, 2019 at 8:59 pm

Another threat on our school... I am concerned for whoever keeps making threats to shoot up the school and think that they need help and support as well as more attention. Schools are supposed to be a safe place for students, but maybe they need to feel more safe themselves. I hope that the other students and I stay safe and this in another empty threat like Nick thought.

2 people like this
Posted by Iron horse other student
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 14, 2019 at 9:58 pm

i am a 6th grade students at IHMS
i was stuck in my 2nd period class which was core for 5hours!!
i didnt have my lunch until 6th period
my friends and I were scared we were going to die and ere texting out parents I love you.
my class never knew what was happening because our teacher refuses to tell us and we were all calm until we had police men escort us to the bathrooms!!

my mum texted me the we while we were still in the lockdown and my whole class found out and we freaked. I am happy we never god shot and were safe. thank to all the police!

the person who did that is very concerning

Like this comment
Posted by grms student
a resident of San Ramon
on Dec 29, 2019 at 3:59 pm

i'm a seventh grader in gale ranch middle school, in the same community as ihms, and what's happening here is awful! it started woth college shootings and made it's way down to middle school and even threats in elementary schools have started to show up. everybody; STAY SAFE. these days, our community is very unpredictable.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Tell Me More About University of California-Merced
By Elizabeth LaScala | 2 comments | 1,472 views

Voters face three school bond measures come March
By Tim Hunt | 6 comments | 1,111 views