LC-M gun threats prove to be false
A recent gun threat at Little Cypress-Mauriceville schools has left investigators searching for clues to see who is responsible for starting the rumors.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office along with administrators from LCMCISD are working on identifying the persons responsible for the wide spread rumors of students at the high school or students from surrounding schools who had or would be bringing guns to the LC-M High School campus.
The OCSO has investigated multiple social networking sites as well as text messages and has determined these rumors are not true. These rumors where spread through social networking sites and through text messages and grew exponentially as they were passed around.
Investigators believe there was no threat to the safety of any students at the LCM High School campus. However, as a further precautionary effort, there were deputies at LCM High School to ensure the safety of the students and to assure parents such actions will be investigated and the safety of the students is a priority.
“I don’t know that there is anything that we can do to “fix” what happened, since our emergency operation procedures were followed,” said Sherry Combs, Community Relations Coordinator for the Little Cypress-Mauriceville CISD.
However, according to Combs, the issue was the large number of parents who did not believe either the district personnel or the sheriff’s office and insisted on picking up their children and sharing the pandemonium, regardless of the truth.
“This was social media run amok,” she said.
School officials were prepared and sent out voice messages which went out from the school administrators to all of the high school parents assuring them there was no threat.
One thing the people either discount or do not realize is the staff also has children on that campus. There are seven people in Central Office who have children or grandchildren at the high school, as well as two or three other principals or directors with high school students.
“All of those students were left in class, and as two of those students are my grandchildren, I can assure you that we would not leave them in harm’s way, any more than we would gamble with the safety of any of our students,” Combs said.
According to Little Cypress-Mauriceville CISD Superintendent, Dr. Pauline Hargrove, there are four areas that should be stressed to keep this kind of incident from occurring again. “1. The importance of parents talking to their children to know what’s going on in their lives and teaching them how to handle situations, 2. The seriousness of gossip and taking responsibility of your words, especially when shared through social media, 3. The student, home and school working together as a team, and 4. The importance of being part of the solution rather than the problem. Safety is everyone’s responsibility.”
The Emergency Operating Procedure is continually being “tweaked” to make sure LC-M school officials are using the best practices and they know what to do in case of an emergency.
“As a matter of fact, the district’s Emergency Management Safety Coordinator and I both viewed a webinar on January 9, “The Active Shooter,” which we will be sharing with all of the administrators later this week,” Combs said.” It will also be incorporated into our EOP notebook and used in safety training with the entire staff.”
As far as making the school safer, one way which can help is by rebuilding.
“Unfortunately, the ages of most all of our campuses are from the years when there were not as many threats and they have multiple outside entrances, “Combs said. “When we talk about the possibility of another bond election, all remodeling discussions revolve around safety, as well as what requirements are needed for instruction. This would be much more easily done with new construction, but to address all of the needs across the district would be a financial impossibility,” Combs said.
A Risk Diversion Officer is another topic of discussion, but the funds to pay for such a person at each campus are just not available, Combs said.
School safety is an on-going topic the LC-M school district will continually address, and not just a point to be covered when an issue or threat arises, she added.
Other area schools are working to make their campuses safer.
Mike King, superintendent of Bridge City ISD, said they have a safety plan on each campus.
“We are in the process of going through them and updating the plans,” King said.
The BCISD practices the plan and has had lock down drills.
In addition, the district has their own police department with two officers. One teaches a class at the high school while another can travel from campus to campus as needed.