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Durham Middle School taking precautions after rumors of threats

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2016/5/7 0:30:00 (5829 reads)

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By Steve Southwell

Update - May 9:
Durham Principal Brian McCoo sent a letter to Parents on Monday following up on the threat, and noting that police had not found any valid threat. Still, the letter said that the students involved would not be back on campus for the remainder of the school year. He thanked Lewisville police for being on campus Monday.

Original Story
Rumors circulated at Durham Middle School Friday about the possibility of a student or group of students planning to shoot up the school. While police do not currently think there is a credible threat, they and school district officials take it seriously and are following up.

Durham Principal Brain McCoo sent a brief letter to parents late Friday afternoon regarding the situation there, but did not include any details.

"Please know we have and are taking all necessary precautions to ensure your children’s safety. We know the parties involved and the Lewisville Police Department is investigating this matter," McCoo wrote in the letter.

LISD spokesman Greg Weghorst would not provide further detail, other than to say that police were aware of rumors that students had reported to a trusted adult, and that the district takes any threat seriously. "We'll have LPD on and around campus next week just as a precautionary measure," he said.

Captain Dan Rochelle of the Lewisville Police Department gave a brief explanation of the situation: "A kid comes home from school and tells his mother that he heard a rumor that some guys are bringing some guns to school Monday, and they're going to shoot up the school."

"I'm told that Captain [Casey] Carter is already aware of it; He's over the SROs (school resource officers), so they'll be first thing on it Monday morning."

"We don't have any actual credible threat that there is something going on at the school," said Rochelle. "It's like hearsay to the third power."

Carter said Friday night that he had officers working on the incident since about 4 p.m., and that they had identified three students they wanted to talk to regarding the incident. He said that officers were trying to make contact with those students and their families today.

"What it sounded like to me was that some kid made some pop-off comment; his girlfriend broke up with him or something," said Carter. He said district officials became aware through the rumor mill.

Carter said police were trying to track down any witnesses who heard the child's threat. He said that the campus administrators had talked to the child and his parents. "We haven't laid eyes on the individual who can say 'yeah, I heard him say this'," said Carter.

"It's probably going to be a bunch of nothing, but we have to treat it like it is something until we find out otherwise."

Carter said that they had a safety plan ready for Monday morning, and that Lewisville officers would be at the campus.

Whether or not the threat turns out to be credible, both McCoo and Weghorst indicated the students did the right thing by telling a trusted adult.

"We always encourage students to let a trusted adult know if they see or hear of suspicious behavior," wrote McCoo. "I applaud our students for doing so today"

Students at Durham will be taking STAAR tests next week for 8th grade math, science, and social studies. 6th and 7th grade reading STAAR tests are also next week.

Anyone with information that could help the Lewisville Police in their investigation should contact LPD by calling the non-emergency line at 972-219-3600. To leave an anonymous tip, you can call 972-219-TIPS (8477) or text the word TipLPD, followed by your information to 847411. You can also use the mobile app TipLPD.

We will update this story if we learn more.

The story was updated Friday night, May 6, to reflect information learned from Captain Casey Carter.

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