Pictures showing teen with guns prompts concerns at Katy school
HOUSTON – Authorities at two more schools in the Houston area Tuesday were investigating social media posts that prompted security concerns, adding to a growing list of threats made since last week’s massacre in Florida.
According to a note sent to parents by the principal of James E. Taylor High School in Katy, several students said on social media that they knew about a fellow student who was planning an attack at the school.
A spokesman for the Katy Independent School District confirmed two images that circulated on social media showing a teenager holding guns prompted the concern by students, but there was never an actual threat made against the school. The guns in the pictures were described as a pellet gun and an airsoft gun, the spokesman said.
Irene Gumuika lives in the same neighborhood as the student.
“I know him as a very nice young man. I don’t believe he did anything wrong,” Gumuika said.
Those social media postings of the student with the guns without captions were from Jan. 8, according to Katy ISD.
A number of students captured that screen shot and yesterday, one of those students added some captions that the student in the image was a threat to Taylor High School and posted it on social media last night
Katy ISD police met with the student Monday and determined there was no credible threat.
Police were also able to identify the student who posted the images with the captions. Both students met with school administrators Tuesday morning and will not be allowed back on campus until the district wraps up its investigation.
Katy ISD’s superintendent says the district will deal appropriately with each one of the students who has a screenshot of the images.
“We are going to take it seriously. We are going to take it seriously and if we have to move forward with the fullest extent of the law, we will do that,” Lance Hindt said.
“Our students and school community play an important role in protecting our campus from harmful situations,” Principal Chris Morgan wrote. “I would like to encourage you to remind your student that we take all reports of inappropriate comments and threats seriously.
Likewise, students who make credible threats will be disciplined to the fullest extent allowable by law and District policy.”
Morgan assured parents that students at the school are safe.
Angela Almendare, a parent of a Taylor High School student, said it is better to err on the side of caution.
"Unfortunately, they’re living in a time when this is a real thing," Almendare said. "This is a real concern. Every single day. This could happen. We've got to listen to our children. They're the ones that are here every single day."
The following is Morgan's entire note to parents:
"I would like to notify you that we are actively investigating an allegation made by several of our students on social media. The allegation indicated that they had knowledge of a fellow student who was supposedly planning to harm his THS classmates.
"Katy ISD police officers visited the home of the student in question this evening and have determined that there is no credible threat. Because of this, our parents should feel secure in knowing that their student(s) will be safe at school tomorrow.
"Our students and school community play an important role in protecting our campus from harmful situations. I would like to encourage you to remind your student that we take all reports of inappropriate comments and threats seriously. Likewise, students who make credible threats will be disciplined to the fullest extent allowable by law and District policy.
"Safety is our highest priority at THS. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office."
Rash of threats since Parkland shooting
These rumors are the latest in a rash of at least a dozen threats made against Houston-area schools since the Valentine’s Day shooting that killed 17 people at a Parkland, Florida, high school.
Copyright 2018 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.