Rumors of incident raise concerns at Willis ISD

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by Kevin Reese / KHOU News 11

khou.com

Posted on December 17, 2012 at 6:25 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 17 at 6:35 PM

WILLIS, Texas – Some concerned parents pulled their children from Willis High School Monday after rumors circulated about a possible incident on campus.

After the mass shooting at an elementary school on Friday in Newtown, Conn., school safety is a top concern right now.

“Apparently there’s threats going on at the school that somebody’s gonna do a shooting this Friday,” Rebecca Eudie, a concerned parent, said.

Some students were too scared to go to school at all.

“I’m worried that someone is a little bit off right now,” Colby Clarkston, a student, said. “And I’m worried that somebody is gonna come to our school with a gun.”

Rumors started in Willis last week. The shooting in Connecticut made it even worse, and it has been the talk among students and parents on social media on Monday.

Students started sending out pictures of that showed an increase security presence on campus. Students recognized that there were more police than usual. There were also rumors of an arrest.

The school district responded only with a statement from Erin Kleinecke, communications director for WISD:

“Our schools are safe. Like many districts around the country, Willis ISD has increased security at all of our campuses to help reassure parents and students in light of the tragedy in Connecticut.”

Fears of an incident are not limited to Willis ISD.

In San Antonio, an elementary school was placed on lockdown after a teacher thought she saw a man outside with a gun.

It turned out to be a falconer dressed in camouflage who was looking for his lost bird.

“I guess it could be that but at the end of the day I’d rather be safe than sorry, because you know these people that go out and do mass shootings at school if they really want to do it extra cops and rumors is not gonna stop ‘em,” a concerned parent in Willis said.

The Montgomery County Precinct 1 Constable’s Office confirmed that they have stepped up security at Willis schools because of the rumors and issued the following statement:

“With the recent tragedy in Connecticut, the Constable’s office in charge of law enforcement at Willis ISD, understands that parents have concerns about student safety. We take the responsibility of student safety very seriously. We train our staff in safety protocols and rely on parents to help us enforce procedures. We conduct safety drills, including those for a building lockdown, and we have procedures in place for all types of potential incidents. Like many districts around the country, Willis ISD has requested increased security at all campuses to help reassure parents and students in light of the tragedy in Connecticut. Willis schools are safe. Their counselors are available to talk with students, staff or parents who have a need regarding this situation. The safety of the students, staff, parents and community is the top priority at Willis ISD.”

Three members of the Montgomery County SWAT team were at Willis High School Monday just to meet with school police officers about those concerns. They were not in SWAT team tactical gear.

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