Parents react after threat of shooting at Paetow High School

KATY, Texas – On Wednesday morning, parents rushed over to Paetow High School to pick up their children after Katy Independent School District said the school received and investigated a rumored and unfounded threat of a shooting on campus.

“We’d do anything we can for our children, and we want to make sure that they are safe,” said Ivy, a parent who picked up her child.

Parents said Wednesday’s incident was one of several in the last few days. They tell us there have also been reports of several fights on campus.

“Every day this week, they’ve been coming home, showing me Snapchat videos of different incidents and a security guard getting trampled and all kinds of stuff,” said parent Allah-Mi Basheer.

KPRC reached out to Katy ISD about the issues on campus and received two letters that were sent out to parents over the past two days.

The first letter read:

“Dear PHS Parents/Guardians,

The purpose of this message is to inform you that this afternoon a physical altercation occurred between a group of students in the commons area of the campus. The incident was witnessed by several students and was contained by school and campus security. At least one student was physically detained by Katy ISD police for their active involvement in the incident. Any other students found to have been involved will face disciplinary consequences in accordance with the Katy ISD Discipline Management Plan and Student Code of Conduct. Also, out of an abundance of caution, additional Katy ISD police personnel have been assigned to our campus for the remainder of the day.

I would like to reassure parents that the safety of our students at Paetow High School is our top priority, and behaviors such as these are not tolerated on our campus.

There are several ways students and parents can help the school administration resolve conflicts before an incident occurs. In addition to reporting information to someone at school or a law enforcement official, parents can utilize our Katy ISD SpeakUp mobile app to anonymously report tips. I also encourage parents to help their child understand the serious implications that can result from engaging in or encouraging physical or verbal conflict. With your help, we can effectively continue our commitment to maintaining a safe and secure learning environment for all students.

Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,

Mindy DickersonPrincipal

Paetow High School”

The second letter read:

“Dear PHS Parents/Guardians,

I realize that recent events have many of our parents, students, and staff concerned about safety issues on our campus. I want you to know that our campus and District take such matters very seriously and has been providing our school with additional support, including additional police and security officers, and additional district level administrative staff and counselors that have been assigned to our campus to assist with needs. Many of these additional staff begin their assignments on our campus as early as 6:30 a.m. Also, Katy ISD police continue to investigate all tips and rumors concerning today’s school day and have determined that those they have received thus far to be unfounded.

As I shared yesterday evening, the following steps have been put in place as we continue to prioritize the safety and security of our students:

· Increased Security Guards

· Increased Police presence

· Additional Administrative Staff

· Robust and enhanced duty stations for staff

· Reminders for students to report issues before they occur

· Reminders for students as to how they should behave if an event should occur

· Procedures for protecting instruction and less movement in the hallways

· Systematic dismissal to ensure a smooth exit

· Additional disciplinary options for offenders

Parents and guardians are encouraged to take this opportunity to discuss these matters with your student to make sure they understand the seriousness of false threats and inappropriate behaviors.

Our goal as a campus is to ensure that we are consistently fostering academic achievement and positive relationships between students, parents, and staff in safe and secure learning environments. Your assistance in helping your student understand the importance of supporting this goal and doing their part in contributing to a positive and prideful Paetow Panther culture, is greatly appreciated.

Finally, as a reminder, there are several ways students and parents can help school administration and law enforcement address potential safety issues, including reporting a concern to school administration or the police, or submitting information on the SpeakUp mobile app.

Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,

Mindy DickersonPrincipal

Paetow High School”


About the Authors:

Reporter, proud Houstonian, U of H alumni, and lover of all the hometown sport teams.

Moriah Ballard joined the KPRC 2 digital team in the fall of 2021. Prior to becoming a digital content producer in Southeast Texas and a Houstonian, Moriah was an award-winning radio host in her hometown of Lorain, Ohio and previously worked as a producer/content creator in Cleveland. Her faith, family, and community are her top passions.