SPRING, Texas—Security was extra tight at Spring High School Monday morning as the campus attempted to return to normal following last week’s deadly stabbing. Seventeen-year-old Joshua Broussard was stabbed to death by another student, Luis Alonzo Alfaro, who was also 17.
The murder left students and parents shaken, and the district looking for tighter security measures.
It was TSA-style security at the school. Portable metal detectors were brought in, access to the school was limited to only two heavily-monitored entrances, and clear backpacks became mandatory.
Officials used hand-held wand detectors to make sure the students brought no weapons onto the campus.
Students who did not have clear backpacks were allowed to bring their belongings in large Ziploc-type bags or clear purses, no larger than a loaf of bread. After parents complained that they had a tough time finding the clear backpacks, Spring ISD located a supply and has ordered enough to hand out to students. The students will not be charged.
District officials said in an email Monday afternoon that about 60 percent of the 3,062 enrolled students showed up for classes in the morning.
Harris County Sheriff’s deputies said the killing was gang-related, and had been part of an ongoing feud.
Alfaro was charged with murder after allegedly confessing to stabbing Broussard in a fight he said began with “a bump.” Broussard died in the school hallway and three other students were also injured. They were taken to nearby hospitals to be treated for stab wounds and all were expected to survive.
Tensions continued to rise at a memorial service for the slain student on Sunday night. Harris County Sheriff’s deputies said gang members escorted out of the church got into a fight in the parking lot and at least eight shots were fired. The pastor at the church, however, said no shots were ever fired on the church property.
Still, administrators and law enforcement were taking no chances and wanted to ensure the students returned to a safe environment. Some of the students and parents remained on edge.
“It’s just sad, I think it’s just scary. I think things like this just shouldn’t happen at school. I come to school to learn and to better my future and get my education,” said Nicole Edwards, a senior. “I’m scared. Especially with the retaliation, there’s a lot of fights. There was retaliation at the memorial service, so I am definitely scared to be here.”
“It’s just like going to prison and it shouldn’t be that way,” said one woman who was dropping off a student.
“Knowing like he (Broussard) died at this school. Like, we’re walking through the hallways where he died, it is not going to be the same,” said Ericka Vasorla, sophomore.
Trained crisis counselors were also on hand Monday for any students or staff members in need.
In a statement released Monday morning, Spring High School Principal Donna Ulrich said school was off to a great start. A photo showed Spring ISD Police Chief Victor Mitchell watching as staff checked students in through the metal detectors.
The enhanced security measures are not going to be permanent. The metal detectors will be in place at least through the week, but the increased police presence will not last.