ARVIN - Gang rivalry at Arvin High School reached a boiling point this first week of school. District officials said there was a stabbing, an airsoft pistol shooting and on Thursday, threats of a shootout.
School district officials said they beefed up presence at the high school Thursday and will do so until tempers settle.
"We don't feel protected," said Pedro Garcia, the older brother of Arvin High School students.
Officers checks IDs and backpacks at the door, while cop cars surrounded the buildings.
"We don't want this to happen to our schools," said Arturo Ruiz, a sophomore at Arvin High School. "We just want to learn and this is not right."
District officials said nine extra officers from three agencies were assigned to the school. That's because Wednesday night, text messages and posts on Twitter warned students there would be a shootout Thursday between rival gangs at the high school.
"We decided to have a real show of strength out there and ensure the safety of our students," said John Teves, spokesperson for the Kern High School District.
This comes after a stabbing Tuesday and an airsoft pistol shooting Wednesday. Thursday's threat caused some parents to pull their kids out of class.
"Even though the cops are out here and are doing a good job, the threats are not good and we don't feel safe with our kids out," said Garcia.
According to the district, 128 students were absent from Arvin High School on Thursday. That's about five percent of the total enrollment. Teves said that is twice what the school normally expects.
District officials said the violence is a result of a community gang dispute, that's spilled over into the school.
"The Arvin Police Department, the Kern County Sheriff's Department, and the Kern High School District Police Department are working very hard to get to the bottom of this gang dispute," said Teves.
Teves said a dispute like this is unusual.
"As a person who's been to all 18 comprehensive sites many times, one of the most peaceful harmonious sites you can go to is Arvin High School," said Teves. "You can feel more at ease at Arvin High School than just about any school in the district."
Teves said he believes the dispute is under control.
"We feel like our kids are safe at Arvin High," said Teves.
But, parents are skeptical.
"They're not coming to school tomorrow either," said Garcia.
The Kern High School District said both the stabbing suspect and shooting suspect were arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and participation in a street gang. The stabbing suspect is a 14-year-old Arvin High student. The shooting suspect is 15, but not an Arvin High student.