Rumors of violence keep school districts on alert

HOUSTON - Some southeast Texas school districts are using precious resources to investigate rumors after the shooting at a Newtown, Conn. school.

Willis High School had a sizeable increase in security Monday.

"I heard they weren't SWAT, but I'm pretty sure constables don't walk around in camouflage," a student said.

Willis High officials became especially vigilant after a widely circulated rumor regarding plans for student gun violence.

"It's just ridiculous how the kids are making a big deal out of this -- posting it on Facebook and Twitter," parent Jessica Johnson said.

Johnson has been reading the disconcerting posts. She's concerned and believes the school district has been slow to react.

"I know it's a rumor and it could be false. But you don't take the chances, not with our children's lives," she said.

Willis ISD administrators made it clear that they are not taking any chances. When asked about the rumor, officials only said they have stepped up security in the wake of the shooting in Newtown.

The Montgomery County Precinct 1 Constable's Office released the following statement.

"With the recent tragedy in Connecticut, the Constable's office in charge of law enforcement at Willis ISD, understands that parents have concerns about student safety. We take the responsibility of student safety very seriously. We train our staff in safety protocols and rely on parents to help us enforce procedures. We conduct safety drills, including those for a building lockdown, and we have procedures in place for all types of potential incidents. Like many districts around the country, Willis ISD has requested increased security at all campuses to help reassure parents and students in light of the tragedy in Connecticut. Willis schools are safe.  Their counselors are available to talk with students, staff or parents who have a need regarding this situation. The safety of the students, staff, parents and community is the top priority at Willis ISD."

At Klein Collins High School, a somewhat similar vague threat of violence was met with a more forthcoming response.

"A thorough and expeditious investigation of the matter was conducted by the administration, and the information was found to be rumor."

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