School goes on shelter in place during Katie Porter visit


Irvine High School announced a shelter in place order at 8:55 a.m. on Monday, April 18. Students were ordered to remain inside a classroom until further notice after an unsubstantiated threat via phone call.

In the non-credible phone call, an individual threatened to bring a weapon on campus. Staff directed students to their nearest classrooms.

“I felt pretty safe considering we had six teachers in the room with us,” senior Keerthi Singam said. “However, it was still pretty scary and shocking. The room was silent and I could see that a lot of students were shaken.”

U.S. Representative Katie Porter was on campus that morning hosting a Q&A session where she discussed gender inequalities in the workforce and advocated for youth voter registration. As the shelter in place order remained for 45 minutes, students attending the session stayed in safety with the congresswoman.

“The representative was very gracious and very kind,” social science teacher Brenton Youngren said. “All the students went down to the floor, near the desk and the representative said, ‘this happens all the time in D.C., it’s no big deal.’ That’s the first thing she said and it cracked me up. I couldn’t stop laughing, internally of course.”

After investigations, the Irvine Police Department determined that the call was a hoax, or swatting, intended to prompt a reaction from the police department.

“Please know that the safety of our students and staff is our priority,” principal Monica Colunga said in a press release. “As part of our protocols related to incidents such as this, we first secure our campus and then communicate as quickly as possible with our families. School safety is a partnership and as such, I would like to thank our students and staff, who responded appropriately, while remaining calm.”