To the Stakeholders of Tenaha ISD,
The wake of the Parkland High School shooting in Florida has provoked varying levels of responses and reactions. The debate about proper security responses is alive and will be bantered about a great deal in the near future.
However, I am more concerned with an unintended consequence of “real-life” events abroad and the effect they have on children here at home. Already, in our area and even in our school, children (who are most likely unaware of the seriousness of their words) are making statements that are in essence Terroristic Threats. It is my belief that our young generation has grown up desensitized to the serious nature of violence and the harm that their words can do, much less if their words lead to action.
As the leader of Tenaha Schools, I want to assure our stakeholders that terroristic threats will not be taken lightly. I have instructed our administration to immediately contact law enforcement who will in turn contact the FBI to fully investigate such threats. When a child says they “might shoot”, “would shoot”, or “could shoot” at or in a school, I want the parents, students, and supporters of our school to know that we will immediately turn that investigation over to the proper law enforcement authorities. We will not as a school district make an effort to determine if comments like that are in jest or taken out of context. The climate of seriousness that surrounds the topic of mass shootings especially in American public schools raises the seriousness of such words beyond our limits to effectively deal with them.
In short, students will be charged if they make such threats.
As always, the safety and security of our students is our top priority. It is shameful that the world we exist in exposes children to such senseless acts and in turn, such careless thought for the consequences of their words and/or actions. Parents, please talk to your children and ensure that they understand the severity of their words. We just live in a world that cannot tolerate these threats even if they are not made with intent.
Superintendent of Schools