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Graffiti at Simi Valley elementary school force early dismissal

March 18, 2013 | 12:56 pm

Students at a Simi Valley elementary school were released from school early Monday because of “threatening” graffiti painted across campus buildings, Simi Valley police said.

“It was inappropriate and threatening in nature,” said Simi Valley police Sgt. Craig Dungan.

Staff at Justin Elementary School sent out mass emails and automated phone calls to parents Monday telling them to pick up their children at noon after faculty members who arrived in the morning found graffiti painted across several school buildings and windows. The school is a K-6 school.

Students who could not be picked up were being bused to a nearby elementary school at 12:45 p.m.

Police would not discuss the nature of the graffiti, but said it was not a bomb threat.

“Sometimes when graffiti is extensive and they can’t cover it all and it's inappropriate for young eyes to see they’ll send the students home early,” Dungan said.

Whatever the graffiti were, they made school administrators put the campus on what they call a “lock in,” where students are required to stay inside classrooms at all times, said Lt. Stephanie Shannon. If students had to go to the bathroom, they were escorted there and back, she said.

After-school activities on the campus were also canceled. Classes are expected to resume their normal schedule Tuesday, Shannon said.

Simi Valley Unified School District officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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-- Joseph Serna

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