BELLAIRE, Texas – A Bellaire High School student said she received two school threat pictures through Air Drop on Sept. 17.
The student's mother said her daughter accepted the Air Drop, but was not familiar with the name or number of the sender.
What started off as harmless memes turned into something more concerning. Now her mother said the Houston Independent School District should have done more to inform parents and investigate.
The district maintains that an investigation is ongoing and that safety is a top priority.
Last Tuesday, Juliet Davidson said her daughter received two frightening picture threats.
"I was freaking out. She can't go back to that classroom, and I don't even know if I want her to go back at all," Davidson said.
Her daughter, Davidson said, was sitting in math class when she started accepting Air Dropped photos on her iPhone. Air Drop is a method of sending pictures directly to another iPhone using wi-fi or Bluetooth.
Davidson's daughter had her settings set to receive from everyone, and so she was able to receive requests to send from anyone in the area who also had the same settings.
She said her daughter first received harmless memes and then an inappropriate video. However, that was the least of her worries. The next photos she received caused alarm.
"It says, 'Ima shoot up the school tmr don't come,'" Davidson said.
However, it wasn't just what the picture said that alarmed them. The Air Drop method only allows photos to be sent and received within a certain distance.
"Air Drop only covers about a 30-foot range," Davidson said.
Then, her daughter got another alarming photo.
"Someone holding a gun in their hand, saying do not come to school tomorrow," Davidson said.
The photo with the gun said, "Don't come to school tmr."
Davidson said her daughter was worried and showed a classmate who she said took a picture to warn friends on Snapchat.
Davidson then got a call from the district.
"My daughter was threatened that someone was going to shoot up the school tomorrow. ... What do you do about that?" Davidson said.
What the district did
HISD talked to Davidson's daughter, according to Davidson, and also talked with the student who posted a picture of the daughter's phone with the threat on Snapchat.
School officials sent a note to parents stating:
"This is an important message for Bellaire HS parents and students. We have been made aware of a social media post that has been circulating among our students. The post does not directly reference Bellaire High School. However we have notified HISD police and an investigation is underway. I want to take this opportunity to stress the importance of cyber safety and encourage you to talk with your child about their use of text messaging and social media. Should you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call our school office at 713-295-3704 or you may simply reply to this email."
HISD officials sent this statement to media outlets:
"Houston ISD police are investigating a social media post circulated by students at Bellaire High School. The safety of our students and staff is always our top priority. We encourage all of our students, staff, and parents to report any suspicious social media activity."
'I want the school to do more'
Davidson feels the student who sent the Snapchat was punished, unfairly.
"He was just trying to warn his friends," Davidson said.
Davidson also said the Air Drop method was alarming and urgent and that the school should have done more to explain what happened to the parents.
"They did not know who did it, and (they said) that it was an ongoing investigation. That's all that they could tell me," Davidson said. "I want the school to do more. They need to do more."
As for Davidson, she filed her own police report.