Lubbock ISD Addresses Shooting Threat, Text Messaging - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/19/08

Lubbock ISD Addresses Shooting Threat, Text Messaging

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Last week, a rumor about a planned shooting at Monterey High School sent students and parents into a panic. Tuesday, Lubbock I.S.D. called a press conference to address priorities in that situation.

"Rumor is what was plaguing that campus on Friday," said Wayne Havens, Lubbock ISD Superintendent. "Here is what we do know. Two students were involved in a fight at a neighboring restaurant on Wednesday. These students were not on campus when the rumored violence was to take place. There was an increased presence around Monterey High School on Friday, but nowhere near close to the one person (police officer) per classroom as reported."

"Administration from Central Office was on campus during the day to evaluate the situation and at no time was there any evidence of impending violence," Havens continued. "The school never went into full scale lock down, again because evidence simply did not indicate the need."

Havens said LISD respects the right of parents and their judgement to protect their children. Many students contacted their parents Friday, and went home for the day.

"The priority in this district is we take all reports seriously. And investigate with diligence anytime we have a situation as we had at Monterey High School on Friday," said Havens. "This is standard procedure for district and will continue to be so as long as I am superintendent."

Havens said the situation was a product of the rumor mill, which only escalated with the presence of technology.

"We had people in Phoenix and Ruidoso...all across our surrounding districts went into their crisis management plans simply on the basis of text messaging."

"In today's world with text messaging, this is an element we will have to contend with as a district, community, and a society," said Havens. "When you have a crisis like this, you flood a phone system no matter how big it is. A parent has a concern, they try to get in touch with the office, they can't get an answer, and that just increases the frustration."

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