Students at three North Texas high schools were arrested for bringing guns on campus Thursday, just one day after a shooting at a Florida high school that killed at least 17 people.
A 16-year-old student at Flower Mound Marcus High School was arrested with a gun and ammunition. In a separate incident, a student – identified only as a juvenile – was arrested for bringing a gun to Plano West High School.
Both arrests were made without incident and the students were removed from their respective campuses.
Hillsboro Independent School District took to Facebook to let parents know there was a report that a student planned on bringing a gun onto campus Friday. The school says police will be on campus Friday to investigate further.
Fellow students at Marcus High School alerted school resource officers to the student with a gun around 11 a.m. During a search of the student, officers found “a small caliber handgun.” The gun wasn’t loaded, but the student was also in possession of ammunition.
The Plano West arrest stemmed from a campus Crime Stoppers tip, according to Plano police.
The following letter was sent to Plano West parents following the arrest:
Dear Plano West Families,
In an effort to keep you informed, and especially in light of the news that is on the hearts and minds of our national community, I am writing to make you aware of a situation that we managed at our campus today. Following up on a tip, a Plano West student was found in possession of a handgun on campus this morning. No threats were made against the school or fellow students, the gun was not loaded and there was no ammunition found.
Working with the school resource officer, the Plano Police Department became immediately involved and the student was taken into custody. We will follow district policies and procedures and take appropriate action to the fullest extent of the law. We want to assure you that we take all security related incidents very seriously and we will always exercise caution regarding matters of safety.
Our school and district are constantly monitoring security efforts, working with the police on an ongoing basis to strengthen our security plan. Each of our Plano ISD high schools and senior high schools has a school resource officer at the campus fulltime, and each of these police officers has had additional training in the event of a hostile situation involving a live weapon. Police also have access and information regarding our school emergency protocols, and students and staff members receive training beginning within the first ten days of school on how to respond to these types of emergencies.
Thank you for your partnership in the effort to keep our students safe. We will continue our vigilance in these areas. As always, we appreciate your efforts in monitoring your children’s friends, activities and free time, and by ensuring that they do not have access to weapons. Working together, we can make a difference.
The third incident happened at South Garland High School, Garland PD PIO Pedro Barineau confirmed to WFAA. In a letter released to families, a student reported to school administration of another student stealing a cell phone. When officials conducted a search, they found a gun on the student, which wasn't loaded nor "functional," Principal Steve Ewing wrote.
Here's the statement sent to the parents:
The safety and security of our students and staff is our top priority in Garland ISD. After one of our South Garland High School students reported to campus administration that another student was involved in theft, a search was conducted. During this search, a small handgun was found. There was no ammunition, and the weapon was not functional. The weapon was confiscated, and the student was arrested.
We share information such as this with families and use this as an opportunity to stress the importance of our students sharing information about anything they see or hear that has the potential to threaten the safety of our campuses, as was done in this case. We commend this student who made a report today and all who report suspicious behavior, ensuring the continued safety of all at our campuses.
A 13-year-old student from Arlington's Nichols Jr. High School made threats to shoot up the school, but police later determined that he didn't actually have a gun with him. The school told WFAA that Arlington police investigated the incident. He was taken into custody and charged with terroristic threat, police said. "Student and staff safety is of the utmost concern and any threat is taken seriously and investigated fully," Leslie Johnston, director of communications for Arlington ISD.
Weatherford police arrested a student at Weatherford High School for threats she posted on social media. Weatherford Police said this incident is one of several arrests of students in recent weeks involving threats and social media. They want to warn students and parents that they take these reports seriously and they can lead to criminal charges.