Texas City High School student arrested after threat written on bathroom wall

TEXAS CITY, Texas – A Texas City High School student was arrested Monday after a threat was written on a bathroom wall, officials said.

District officials received an anonymous tip from the Campus P3 app about a potential threat that was made for Sept. 21. After a thorough investigation, a 16-year-old student was identified as the person who wrote the threat on the bathroom wall, officials said.

“Since Tuesday, we have put in extra hours. If that's what it takes then that's what it takes. If we have to lose sleep to make sure that everybody is safe then that's what we will do. We can't afford to take any risks,” said Mike Matranga, executive director of Texas City ISD School Safety and Security.

District officials said there will be an increase of police presence at Texas City High School as a precautionary measure.

“We are not playing around. I've hired a secret service agent, presidential detail, a counter assault team, we've got a young man named Joe Bird who has outstanding experience in technology and intelligence. We have got a plan in place. We are going to have the gold standard for school safety and security in the state of Texas, said Rodney Cavness, Texas City ISD Superintendent. 

Cavness released the following email to parents:

"I'm writing to you not to cause alarm but to inform you of an important situation. Texas City ISD received an anonymous tip from the Campus P3 app about a potential threat for September 21 that was written on a bathroom wall at Texas City High School. We have investigated thoroughly, conducted extensive interviews, and collected and scrutinized handwriting samples from multiple students who we traced to the potential threat. However, it has been determined that those students were not responsible for writing the message.

"Because of the Santa Fe shooting, we know that everyone has a heightened awareness regarding school safety. I want to assure you that we take all threats seriously, we will investigate thoroughly, and we will exhaust every lead. We will also prosecute to the fullest extent of the law when someone is arrested. 

"In order to maintain the integrity of the investigation and to not reveal details that could help in an arrest and prosecution, we will not be sharing any details about this situation. We wanted you to know about this circumstance because we think that Texas City High School students may come home talking about it today and rumors will begin spreading like wildfire in the school community. 

"There have been multiple hoax threats in the past year that caused panic and chaos. That is the intention when someone does something like this. Hoaxes disrupted the entire educational environment multiple times in TCISD last school year. While we do not believe there is a real danger tomorrow, we will have an increased police presence at Texas City High School on September 21, 2018, as a precautionary measure.

"Please talk to your children about reporting things they hear, see, and read that could be potential threats to students or the campus. We are grateful for the tip that came in using the Campus P3 app."

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