MISSOURI CITY, Texas - Ridge Point High School parents and students were alarmed after a threat was posted on social media and shared overnight Wednesday.
Parents and the Fort Bend County Sheriff are now sending a stern message to students who might be thinking of doing the same thing.
"It didn't look like a joke at all," said Pamela Tomasello, a parent of a 17-year-old at Ridge Point High School who woke up around 5 a.m. in a panic. "My daughter came into my bedroom. I could tell she was upset. She had a very shaky voice, and she said, 'Mom, I think there is a threat.'"
Her 17-year-old went on to show her mother a video of a snapchat that appears to zoom in and out of a class picture.
"The video had been sent multiple times, so it was kinda blurry, but the message was clear," Tomasello said.
A voice in the video that Tomasello saw was heard saying, "No one is safe."
What Tomasello saw on the video was also troubling to her and her daughter.
"There was text saying, 'Don't go to school tomorrow. This is real,'" Tomasello said.
Tomasello's daughter stayed home from school Wednesday. However, parents like Tim White, who has three daughters at the school, struggled to make an educated decision early that morning about whether it was safe to bring his daughters to school.
"No notifications went out to anyone. There was nothing to let us know that it happened. There was nothing to let us know that it was solved," White said.
Fort Bend ISD confirmed that authorities investigated the threat when they were notified overnight Wednesday. The district stated:
"The student who made the post was identified and investigators determined there was no imminent threat to campus or students. [The] student who made the post will face appropriate action."
However, some parents said, with school starting at 7:25 a.m., their 9 a.m. notice from the school was too late.
"The email should have been the first thing that came out," Tomasello said.
The district said the investigation happened overnight and that they let parents know as soon as they could. The district also said that anyone looking to threaten a school will face serious consequences.
Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls said this instance didn't meet the criteria of a credible threat, but he did offer a stern warning to students.
"They have to slow down and think about what they're doing," Nehls said.
He said the being charged with making a terroristic threat is no joke.
"[They need to think,] 'This isn't the right thing to do. This could get me in big trouble. This could keep me from working at McDonald's ... the military won't even take you with this kind of crime," Nehls said.
Nehls hopes parents will also talk with their children about the consequences of posing a threat -- real or fake. Parents like White said the threat affects more than just a couple people. It affects the community, White said.
"Look at how many people are sitting with their children worried and it doesn't end today," White said.
The district said that any student who does this will face serious consequences.
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