Investigators with the Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office detained a pair of 12-year-old boys believed to have scrawled a threat on the bathroom wall at Navarro Intermediate School, authorities have said.
Deputies did not release the names of the boys, but said in a written statement released Friday that they had identified the boys as having played primary roles in the threat.
“In this case, it was discovered that words threatening a school shooting were written in pencil on the wall of a sixth-grade bathroom,” the written statement read. “The words were accompanied with drawn images resembling pistols and a bomb.”
Deputies took the boys to the Guadalupe County Juvenile Detention Center for the offense of issuing terroristic threats. Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office deputies beefed up their presence at Navarro ISD after discovering the threat Wednesday and decided to remain until completion of the investigation.
“As these two juveniles have been detained, the Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office has no further concerns for any threats of violence at Navarro ISD,” the release read.
Investigators did not deem the message written in pencil a “credible threat,” Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Investigator Sgt. Zachary McBride said. They spoke with many possible witnesses, narrowed their search to the suspects and got at least one of them to talk, he said.
“I don’t know what their motivation was,” McBride said Friday. “They didn’t really tell us why they did it but the one student that was willing to talk said that they did do it.”
Several students saw the message and reported, according to a social media post from the school district.
Word began to spread and district staff acted immediately, Superintendent Dee Carter said Thursday.
The district blasted information via text and telephone calls to parents in a K-12 alert around midday Wednesday, posted information on the district’s website and made the social media post, she said. They ensured information reached families throughout the entire district, Carter said.
“A lot of our families have children at multiple campuses and we knew that people would hear about our concern,” she said. “We wanted to send that message to everyone.”
The superintendent said she could not provide the specific wording of the threat because it remains part of an ongoing investigation. She said it was a vague threat of doing harm to no one in particular.
“It was general statements about not liking school and that there was going to be some violence,” Carter said late Thursday afternoon. “It certainly was alarming and something that we knew we needed to address as aggressively and immediately as possible, which we have been doing for the last day and a half.”
A few students reported to a couple different teachers that they had seen the threat and staff quickly locked down the restroom, Carter said. The district determined locking down the school was unnecessary, she said Friday afternoon in a social media post.
Administrators visited all of the classes and tried to reassure students and staff that their safety was not in jeopardy, Carter said, though she acknowledged some students were rattled.
“We did not go on lockdown or send students home because the administration and the law enforcement officers did not believe that our students were in imminent danger,” Carter wrote on the district’s Facebook page. “If the purpose of the threatening message was to disrupt the campus and make people anxious, then yes, some of that did happen, but our wonderful teachers were able to maintain the learning environment and routines that our students expect.”
The district is offering counseling support for students who want it.