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California school apologizes for video that faked shooting

ATWATER, Calif. -- A California school district apologized for a video spoof that ended with a security officer pretending to shoot students from a rival high school with a toy gun.

The Merced Union High School District released a statement Thursday saying it does not support or endorse school violence.

The video shows school administrators at Buhach Colony High School in Atwater, including the principal, dressed in superhero costumes and pretending to kick and punch students at the rival school.

It ends with a school security officer pretending to shoot the rival students.

The roughly 6-minute video was posted on YouTube.

Principal Steve Hobbs declined to identify the school administrators in the video or say whose idea it was. Still, he apologized, the Merced Sun-Star reported.

"At no time was there intent to glamorize or endorse school violence," Hobbs told the newspaper. "Would I do it again? Obviously not. I apologize for the impact it had on the community."

Board of Trustees Acting President Dave Honey told the newspaper that simulating a campus shooting was a mistake and showed poor taste, especially considering the number of people nationwide who have died in actual campus attacks

"I know it was supposed to be a joke, but you just can't do anything like that," Honey told the newspaper. "If it was in reverse and a student had done that against administrators, I think we would be looking at an expulsion. It was just in poor taste."

Calls by The Associated Press to Honey and Trustee Ida Johnson were not immediately returned.

Johnson told the Sun-Star that the video took the rivalry between the two high schools too far. She suggested that district officials approve any videos that are to be posted to the web.

Atwater High School Principal Alan Peterson said he felt the video spoof got too much attention, especially given all the great things happening in the schools.

Some Atwater students, however, were upset.

"I think Buhach needs to know that what they did was offensive," said student Sebastian Cervantes, 17. "They make it seem like it's cool and I hope they learn the difference between right and wrong."

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