Parents ask why HEB ISD kept threats secret

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by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on March 6, 2013 at 11:04 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 6 at 11:15 PM

HURST — Alexius Tavo, who struck fear in the minds of many parents at Donna Park Elementary, was arrested outside the school just before lunch on Wednesday.

"The thought that it could happen here is just terrifying," said parent Kim Staudinger.

Tavo went to jail in January for threatening the mother of his son. Among the profanity-laced text messages he sent her, Tavo said: "I will get a machine gun soon. Get a bunch of bullets. Then goin to [his son's] school and murdering as many ppl as possible. Kids and all," according to the police report obtained by News 8.

Tavo served 45 days for a misdemeanor terroristic threat. Why the charge was not any more serious is uncertain;  police declined to comment.

But on Wednesday, the 29-year-old father showed up at Donna Park Elementary with the mother of his son to pick up their child.

Tavo stayed in the car down the street, but Hurst police still arrested him after determining he was too close to campus — inside the 200-foot boundary he was ordered to avoid.

But parents question why the Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD kept Tavo's threats a secret for so long.

The district knew about his statement in January after police alerted a deputy administrator. But the district did not say anything until last Friday — a couple of days before Tavo got out of jail.

"We should have been notified way before then," parent Jennifer Westwood said.

But HEB ISD said students were in no danger as long as Tavo was in jail.

On Wednesday afternoon, the district defended its security plan.

"It was designed to alert parents as soon as there was a chance that their safety might be in question," said HEB ISD spokeswoman Judy Ramos. "It was designed for law enforcement to come in at the moment that was necessary ,and that is exactly what happened."

The district said it even got a trespass warning against Tavo while he was in jail — promising to prosecute if he showed up at the school.

Tavo now faces a 3rd degree felony for terroristic threats.

Hurst police were able to add a more seious charge after several dozen parents and teachers filed affidavits on Tuesday saying they, too, were victims of Tavo's threats.

As officers handcuffed Tavo and walked him to a waiting patrol car, relief finally seemed to settle back over this once-quiet campus.

E-mail  jwhitely@wfaa.com

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