Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

My son Nicholas Ceballos was a Chino Valley student from kindergarten until his high school graduation in 2017. Prior to this incident (“Student detained after gun threats,” March 2, 2018), he had a clean criminal record, no disciplinary issues, and great social and family interaction. Just over a year ago, Nicholas was accused by a student of making threats “to shoot up” his former high school. He was arrested and fingerprinted, suspended from college for a whole semester and declared persona non grata on campus, had to change his major since he now holds a “criminal record,” lost his job, his name was trashed in countless media outlets, spent thousands of dollars on bail and legal representation to be reinstated in college, his dad had to get an evening job to pay for the unexpected expenses; not to mention the ongoing personal, family and social trauma.

Nicholas went to Ayala High School to visit friends from theater. He joined a small group of students who were talking about the recent Parkland tragedy. The topic transitioned into the safety of their school and how vulnerable it was for an attack. Someone, who was not part of the group, overheard my son saying how someone could easily do a lot of harm and took it as he was making an actual threat. 

Four or five days later, this student brought the issue to the attention of the school principal. Law enforcement was called in right away, and in a matter of four hours there was a search and arrest warrant for my son. The police investigation found no guns, no means or plan to commit the alleged threat, no social media references to it, no history of disorderly conduct, and no psychological problems. Two witnesses present in the conversation wrote statements saying that no threats were ever made by Nicholas.

The District Attorney did not file charges for lack of evidence. Chino Hills police cleared my son. The University of La Verne reinstated him after their own investigation was concluded.

Nicholas Ceballos is a resilient young person whose life has been changed abruptly. He is determined to clear out his name and redirect his life. He dreamed of being a school counselor but background checks are mandatory for any job in education. He is now pursuing a career in broadcasting and editing. If you happen to see Nick, say hi to him. He has a story to tell. I am very proud of the person he has become.

Daniel Ceballos

Daniel Ceballos
Other Stories

Latest Stories

Related articles

La Verne faces a rash of catalytic converter thefts

A series of catalytic converter thefts have occurred on or close to the University of La Verne’s campus recently. So far six cases have been reported to Campus Safety, with four of them occurring in campus lots or structures. 

Chino Hills State Park expands

Chino Hills State Park has grown by about 1,500 acres after California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed SB 266 into law on Oct. 10 to transfer three adjacent properties into the park.

First Person Experience: Chino Hills State Park offers a variety of hikes and trails

With over 20 trails with scenic views of the terrain and flowers in bloom, Chino Hills State Park offers a variety of workouts for those who prefer to exercise outdoors.

Cars and Coffee in Chino Hills going strong amid pandemic

Chino Hills is hosting a fun and relaxed car show event, featuring different vehicles from hot rods to customs, antiques and more from 7 a.m to 9 a.m. every Sunday, at 4195 Chino Hills Parkway, at the Donut Star.