McKinleyville High School | Photo via Facebook


A pair of McKinleyville High School students sparked alarm on campus today with a black-and-white photo, posted to social media, in which they’re standing on campus holding what turned out to be a water gun. 

Shortly after 12:30 p.m., McKinleyville High School Principal Nicholas Collart issued the following email to staff, parents and others in the school community:

Dear Mack High Community,
During 5th period today at school our administrative team received a black and white picture which seemed to show two students holding a gun on campus.

We immediately located the students, confiscated the object and recognized that the gun was fake, a water gun, and not a threat, the fake gun is in our possession and we are responding to the students in the picture. 

As we believe the picture may be circulating on social media we immediately asked our staff to read a short message to relay this information to our students and staff.  We felt that it was also important to reach out to you all immediately as well.

Our students and staff’s safety is our first priority, we appreciate you reading this email and if you have any questions please contact me at 707 839-6405 or at 

Roger Macdonald, superintendent of the Northern Humboldt Union High School District, also sought to allay any fears with a email saying the gun was a plastic toy.

“Administration is dealing with discipline and extra supervision is out at lunch to make sure everyone understands the situation,” Macdonald said in his email.

Reached by phone, Collart reiterated that there was no threat on campus, despite the appearance of the photo.

“Those things can be scary … ,” he said. “If the picture had been in color it probably would have been a lot simpler.”