On Halloween 2018, school administrators at Montgomery High School in Otay Mesa, California conspired with the Sweetwater Union High School District and the San Diego Police Department to arrest four students at the school under the ruse of an active shooter drill.
The four students targeted committed alleged crimes outside the school’s boundaries. San Diego police described the students as dangerous and involved in “gang activity,” but waited at least two days to arrest them following the alleged crime.
Principal Thomas Gray at Montgomery High School gave the final OK for the arrests on the day of Halloween. First, students and teachers were informed through the intercom to initiate a “secure classroom” drill. Teachers locked their classroom doors, but kept teaching students. Later, an announcement went out for classrooms to go into “lockdown.” Teachers turned off lights and students were instructed to go into hiding. Some students were cleared from classrooms, but at least one class witnessed a student arrest being made by officers with the San Diego Police Department.
Because the drill had not been previously scheduled, students were under the impression they were involved in a reported active shooter situation.
Please contact Montgomery High School Thomas Gray and San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit through one of the channels below and give them the following message, personalized to your liking:
I can’t believe you subjected Montgomery High School students to an unscheduled active shooter drill and locked down the school with the plan of arresting four students on the premises. This is not just incredibly disrespectful of the young people in your community, it is also an outright violation of their rights. You have a duty to set the right example and tell the truth to these students. If not, how could you possibly expect them to trust you and feel safe in your care? DO NOT use unplanned active shooter drills in this manner again, for whatever purpose, whether it is arresting students or caring out some other surreptitious mission. These drills are traumatizing enough to students as is, without an added layer of betrayal. Here’s how you should be spending your time and resources: Get your butt down to Sacramento, California to lobby for tougher state laws to disarm would-be school shooters. And bring your colleagues with you. One way you can show young people in your community you care about them is by working to make active shooter drills unnecessary in the future.
Principal Thomas Gray
Phone: (619) 628-3800
San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit
Phone: (619) 531-2900 or (619) 531-2231
Once you have contacted Principal Gray and Chief Nisleit, fill out the three fields below and click the orange banner to report taking action!