Investigation continues after threat

Suspects could face felony charges


photo or infographic by Heather Jackson

Texas Penal Code § 22.07 covers the law regarding terroristic threat. Suspects in Mondays bomb threat could face charges under this code.

Students work on lab notes, solve equations and edit answers when the announcement comes on over the intercom. The voice announces that the school is in a shelter in place. Eyes dart to the teacher who is in the dark as much as the students are. After a brief pause, the class goes back to normal, unaware of the flurry of activity happening outside the school. 

There was a bomb threat against the school as class started on Monday, September 21st. Most of the staff and students were unaware until the district updated parents through Twitter and emails. 

Law enforcement officials came to the campus to investigate and ensure the safety of the students and staff. 

“We are incredibly blessed to be in close proximity to so many law enforcement agencies,” principal Stephanie Hodgins said. “The response to Monday’s threat was a coordinated effort among the officers, and they worked very well together to ensure that the parking lots were safe.”

Parents contacted students to ensure their safety, and posts on social media alerted students and staff inside the school of the threat. With the extra time students were able to complete homework and spend time with their classmates until the school was given the “all clear.”

“It was posted on social media, and my classroom had a bunch of windows, so we could see what was going on in the parking lot,” junior Isabel Gonzalez said. “I finished my school work and made TikToks with the extra time.” 

This situation is still under investigation, but if it is classified as a terroristic threat, the punishment can range from a fine of $2,000 to $10,000 or imprisonment from six months to ten years. The charges of this crime are serious, and actions such as the bomb threat are not taken lightly; they have serious consequences. These actions on a criminal record can affect the guilty party for a lifetime.   

“Depends on specific details but could range anywhere from a Class B misdemeanor to a 3rd degree felony,” criminal justice teacher Jessica Edwards said. “Details of an incident make a difference in regards to the elements of a crime. A person could be charged with terroristic threat if they threaten to commit an offense involving violence to any person or property with the intent of causing a reaction, placing another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury, interrupts the use of a building or public place or place public or substantial group in fear.”

This threat took the resources and time of the administration, fire department, police department and the bomb squad. All of these resources were used up for this threat when the law enforcement officers could have been using their time in endless other ways. It also disrupted the school day and forced students with late arrival to participate in online learning on Monday.  

“It is deeply concerning as a building principal to think that someone out there might want to hurt our students and staff, but it is comforting to know that we have the support of law enforcement. I am grateful to everyone who came to our campus to help, and I am especially grateful to our teachers and staff who kept our students calm and engaged in learning.”