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BISD asks parents to talk to students about safety after Bryan Police determine threats not credible
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BISD asks parents to talk to students about safety after Bryan Police determine threats not credible

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The Bryan Police Department determined Thursday that social media threats directed toward Bryan and Rudder high schools were not credible, though they take all threats seriously and are continuing to investigate.

Additional threats, also shared via social media, threatened potential violence at Davila Middle School and Rayburn Intermediate School.

In a release posted to Twitter and Facebook, BPD wrote, “There have been a series of threats made to Bryan area schools in the last two days. Investigations into these threats lead us to believe that they are hoaxes, very similar to other hoaxes that have appeared on social media across the nation, since the Michigan shooting last week. Our investigation will continue and those who are found to be responsible face serious criminal charges, including terroristic threat.”

As of Thursday evening, no arrests had been made, according to BPD.

Matthew LeBlanc, executive director of communications and public affairs with the school district, said if the person or people responsible for the threats are students, then they could face additional consequences through the student code of conduct.

Ginger Carrabine, interim superintendent for Bryan school district, wrote in a letter sent to parents Thursday that districts throughout Texas are dealing with threats similar to the ones made toward Bryan schools this week.

“[U]nfortunately it has become a daily trend across the country,” she wrote.

LeBlanc encouraged parents to talk to their students about the seriousness of making similar threats.

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“It’s not a joke,” he said. “Police will investigate. You could be arrested. It’s illegal to do that, and you could face serious legal consequences that could impact both that child and their family for a very long time.”

LeBlanc said both the school district and police department take all threats against schools seriously.

“We take safety seriously. It isn’t just a buzzword; it really is the top priority,” he said. “We all work in these schools, too. Our staff is there, so safety is the number one thing. No matter how major or small it may seem, we’re going to take it seriously, and we’re going to work with police and let them investigate it and make sure that we’re doing everything we can to keep everyone safe.”

After determining Wednesday’s threats were not credible, LeBlanc said the district plans to have more officers at the schools, in addition to the School Resource Officers assigned to the campuses, to help give students, parents and employees peace of mind.

LeBlanc said attendance Thursday was low at both high schools, and some parents chose to pick up their students at Davila and Rayburn during the day after the threat toward those campuses began circulating. He anticipates low attendance Friday as well.

“We understand parents’ concerns because they can be told by the police that it’s not credible, but then they continue to hear and see so much about it that it makes them think twice about that,” he said. “And that’s understandable. I mean, safety is everyone’s top priority. … You can’t question the efforts that someone will go to to keep their child safe.”

LeBlanc said Carrabine’s letter to parents asks them to talk with their children about reporting threats they see or hear and about safety in general.

“If your child(ren) receives a message like this, the best thing they can do is report it to you, a teacher or administrator, or make a report through Bryan ISD’s B-Safe reporting system,” Carrabine wrote, as opposed to sharing on social media. “When these posts are immediately reported, instead of shared, the momentum stops, and that can help prevent a situation like we had today.”

She continued that the district is prepared for emergency situations, saying students and employees participate in active shooter drills as they do fire and severe weather drills. She noted the increased safety the district has implemented over the last few years, including “enhanced” safety vestibules at the entrance of each building equipped with shatterproof glass, additional fencing and cameras and more key card readers on doors.

“As a school district, we work to embed safety into all we do,” she wrote. “Every decision we make is through the lens of safety; safety for our students, our staff, and everyone who interacts with Bryan ISD every day.”

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