WHITTIER, Calif. (KTLA) — Are students at a local school in danger because of a stalker targeting the school’s new principal?
Whittier police and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles say that’s not the case, and they’re blaming the scare at St. Bruno Catholic School on an angry former teacher.
Officials say the former first grade teacher, whose name isn’t being released, sent out a mass email warning that kids were in danger because of man who’s been stalking the principal for years.
“The teacher had resigned and then was basically terminated, and following that, the email was distributed,” said Todd Tamberg, spokesman for the Archdiocese of L.A.
The email claimed that the man has shown up on campus and made death threats against the principal.
It also said that staff members were given a picture of the man, identified as Ronald Martinez, as well as a car description as a precaution.
The email even reportedly likened the stalker’s actions to the mass shooting that took place more than a year ago at a salon in Seal Beach.
“Let me make it clear, there was nothing to suggest any death threats, no violence,” said Whittier police Lt. Kent Miller.
“To use that tragedy to try to stir up bad feelings and panic at a school… I’ve never seen anything like that,” he said.
The only truth, according to Whittier police, is that the unnamed female principal has been stalked by Martinez for decades.
He was convicted of stalking on Nov. 6 and then released on the same date, according to police. As of today, his whereabouts are unknown.
In the meantime, both the Archdiocese and police are adamant that kids and staff members at St. Bruno are safe.
The school is holding an open meeting Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. to address any concerns that parents may have.
It wasn’t immediately clear if any action was being taken against the teacher who sent the email out.