EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Concerned parents are demanding change after they said a group of young girls who attend Hornedo Middle School were targeted on social media with a death threat from another student.
According to a parent who wishes to be known only as Armando, numerous messages have been sent including one that reads,
These parents said they feel that the El Paso Independent School District is is failing their kids and not doing enough to prevent a school tragedy saying that the system in place at Hornedo Middle school is ‘bureaucratic’ and filled with red Tape.
One of the fathers, who wished to remain anonymous, said that neither Hornedo or EPISD took the threats seriously, and are refusing to provide any of the parents informed. Another father pointed out that the Principal of the school did not return his phone calls and he was instructed to ‘set an appointment’ the following week to discuss the threats.
Armando said that after the second threat, he demanded to speak with the principal and was shocked at what she told him,
Armando – concerned parent
“She’s not the aggressor don’t worry and the police are involved. What do you mean the police are involved I asked, I called you last week and now the police are involved! What happened? We still didn’t know.”
All of the parents said that they were told by the school that the alleged aggressor of the social media threats has not been removed from the school, pending an investigation, because “the student has rights.”
Instead each of the parents decided to pull their child from school because they fear for their safety. Something that they say frustrates and angers them because they feel their children are the one’s being punished.
“Its frustrating, very frustrating. Why does it always have to be the good people that have to pay for it and the bad ones get away with it.”Parent who wishes to remain annonymous
The parents say they are speaking out because they want to make a change in the system. One that will be in place to prevent a tragedy, or school shooting before it happens, instead of a system that only reacts after tragedy strikes.
“My biggest fear is that the next tragedy is not going to be prevented. Even though all the red flags have raised to prevent this nobody’s taken action.”
Armando and the other parents who are speaking out say they fears what happened at Oxford High School in Michigan will soon happen in El Paso if something isn’t done.
“We’re raising the flags before the facts and now we’re seeing the same process was there. Get the person some help remove the aggressor.”
Parents say there should be a trigger system once a threat comes in that will remove the threat or student immediately, pending an investigation. They also feel that the school should send in a response team to get that student the psychological help they may need. This way, they say, the student receives help and all other students are safe.
“The whole system [as it stands now] is disgusting. From the principal all the way up to the Superintendent. It’s bureaucratic. You fix or replace all those people involved in the chain. Why are they allowing this to happen? When we stop, and we think about these situations that have happened in the past with other schools they could have all been prevented. What is it going to take for the school district to improvise and revise their system of cyber bulling and bullying in school? What are they going to do to change it, because we’re not going to wait for another massacre to happen in our schools.”
All parents say they pulled their children out of classes through at least the end of the year because they fear for their kids safety. They also said their children are fearful to return to school, while the student who allegedly sent the death threats is still in school.
In a statement the EPISD said,
EPISD officials added that there is a procedure to threats, sharing the following:
Protocol to follow during these incidents:
- After a report of a threat is received, EPISD Police Services begins an investigation, which includes doing a welfare check to ensure that the person issuing the threat has no access to weapons.
- EPISD Police then partners with other local and federal agencies to determine level of threat and potential criminal charges.
- The District will work with the County Attorney and District Attorney offices to determine if charges can be filed.
- The District also will use the Student Code of Conduct to determine further disciplinary action.”