Spring ISD officials provide few answers for concerned parents

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by Shern-min Chow / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on September 5, 2013 at 11:29 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 6 at 8:22 AM

SPRING, Texas -- There was tension and friction between parents and the Spring Independent School District the day after a brawl with knives left one student dead and three others injured at Spring High School.

Parents who were long on questions felt the district was short on answers.

“We haven't heard anything since then [the attacks],” said grandmother Peggy Morris.

Morris has grandchildren in the district.

“We're not being told anything at all,” said Cathy Armstrong.

Armstrong’s son attends Spring High School

The women hoped to learn more by attending Wednesday’s regularly scheduled board meeting.

The school stabbings had been added to the agenda, but the board chose not to discuss it publicly.

“It’s gone from open discussion to closed discussion,” Armstrong said.

That silence is eroding confidence in what security plans the district may have for when students return to school on Monday.

Armstrong said the lack information is one reason she is considering pulling her son out of Spring.

“They said they have a plan but I have a hard time believing they have anything,” Armstrong said.

After board members came out of the closed session on the attacks, they discussed other items on the agenda.

After several minutes, Board Superintendent Justine Durant interrupted the agenda.

”My heart is heavy and troubled,” Durant said. ”There’s an elephant in the room that needs to be addressed.”

Durant announced the board would make a formal comment on Friday when they would take questions as well.

Spring ISD also held a formal press conference to talk about security hours before the board meeting.

District Police Chief Victor L. Mitchell spoke for one minute and three seconds.

“I don't want to compromise security and safety of schools by going into details of plan so with that said, thank you,” Chief Mitchell said.

Spring High School Principal Donna Ullrich also spoke -- for just under two minutes. “Love is an action word. Love does. Love is present,” Ullrich said. “On Monday, the staff at Spring High School will be present to give love to the students.”

But that was not enough action for some parents, and officials declined any more definitive answers -- walking away in silence amid a barrage of questions from reporters.

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