Another incident at Rio Rancho High School prompted a letter from Principal Millan Baca Tuesday afternoon.
The letter was sent to let parents know that the Rio Rancho Police Department and the Rio Rancho Public Schools Safety and Security Department conducted a search on a student’s vehicle and found a gun, drugs and cash. The student was arrested.
“I am writing to bring to your attention an incident that occurred earlier today at Rio Rancho High School, which requires our immediate attention and collective efforts to ensure the safety of our students and the integrity of our school community,” Baca wrote. “Prompted by a concerned community member’s report and visual evidence obtained through an investigation, we conducted a thorough search of a student’s vehicle, in collaboration with the Rio Rancho Police Department and the Rio Rancho Public Schools Safety and Security Department. During this search, our team uncovered not only a significant quantity of illegal substances but also a substantial amount of cash and a firearm within the student’s vehicle.”
The letter stated the search was not because of any threats made by the student against the school or fellow students and there is no current threat to the school.
“Nonetheless, the presence of illegal substances and a weapon on school premises demands our immediate attention,” Baca wrote. “Possession of illegal substances and carrying firearms or dangerous weapons on school district property is not only a violation of district policy but also a breach of state and federal law.”
Rio Rancho Public Schools issued this statement about the incident:
“We take these incidents very seriously, and we extend our gratitude to the concerned individual who reported the incident that ultimately led to the discovery and confiscation of drugs and a weapon, as well as the subsequent arrest of the involved student. We value the diligent work of our Rio Rancho Public Schools Safety and Security Officers, alongside our collaborative partnership with the Rio Rancho Police Department.”
This is the fourth time Baca, who took over as principal in early August, has sent a letter to parents about an incident on campus.
On Aug. 28, Baca sent an email to parents detailing an incident involving a student brandishing a fake firearm.
The letter said the school received a video from a student at 6:40 a.m. showing another student pointing a toy gun at some students as they arrived for school.
On Aug. 17, an email was sent to parents to address a fight on campus that involved a male student hitting a female student.
Baca did not mention the gender of those involved in the fight in the letter, but a video on Snapchat showed a male student punching a female student in the face during the fight. Two RRHS students told the Observer a girl was hit in the face by a boy.
On Sept. 6, Baca sent an email to parents to inform them about two students who brought toy cap guns to school.
The Observer also confirmed with two RRHS students that a fight on Sept. 7 at the school resulted in one student suffering a broken arm.
In Tuesday’s letter, Baca wrote:
“We share your concerns regarding this incident. We urge you to have a meaningful conversation with your child(ren) about the importance of reporting any suspicious activities or unsettling information to a trusted adult. This is a great example of how one individual’s report can make a difference in the safety of our school. We are committed to thoroughly investigating all rumors, reports, and information related to potential threats to our schools, and we will continue to collaborate closely with the Rio Rancho Police Department in these matters.
Parents, staff, and community members all play a vital role in creating the high-quality educational environment that our children deserve. We deeply appreciate your support and assistance in ensuring the safety and well-being of our students. You are our first line of defense. We will continue to work diligently to provide a safe learning environment for all our students.”