School shooting threat leads to Uvalde-style clash between parents and police

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Jefferson High School parents were unwilling to wait for police to determine whether their children were safe after reports of gunfire at the Texas school on Tuesday. Instead, the parents fought with the police outside the school to gain access to the students inside.

Police determined the shootings were false, but the parents’ response is evidence of mounting fear and panic almost four months after the shooting at a school in Uvalde that killed 19 students and two teachers. In the months since the Uvalde shooting, the public learned that police officers had waited more than an hour before entering a classroom to arrest the gunman, who had been barricaded in the room full of students during that time.

Hundreds of parents were unwilling to wait for police to intervene earlier this week when they flooded Jefferson High School in San Antonio to ensure the safety of their children, according to a report from the San Antonio Express News. One parent even cut his arm when he tried to break through a school window in an attempt to reach the students. According to the article, several parents argued with police officers and some were arrested.

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Officers received reports of a possible shooting in a school classroom around 1 p.m. on Tuesday. The school was completely locked so that no one could leave the classrooms and only the police could enter the school. The action caused panic among parents, who gathered outside the school before the students were released.

Supporters and community members rally for the 19 children and two teachers killed in the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, during a March for Our Lives demonstration on August 27 in Austin, Texas. Parents recently argued with police outside Jefferson High School in San Antonio after a report of a shooting that police later determined was a false alarm.
Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images

During that time, San Antonio Independent School District Police Chief Johnny Reyes said his officers soon discovered that no shots had been fired, but that they conducted a methodical search of every classroom to make sure there was no danger. .

“Our department and (the) San Antonio Police Department determined that there was no shooting, but then we had to methodically search room by room with our assault teams,” Reyes told police. Express-News. “We went to where they said there had been shooting and we were able to quickly determine that there had been no shooting.”

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More than an hour after police first responded to the school, parents flocked to the school before the district sent a message. Some students sent urgent text messages to their parents informing them of the lockdown before the district issued its notice.

“Parents, we wanted to alert you immediately that there was a report of a shooting, but at this time there is no confirmation that one has taken place,” the district statement said. “Jefferson High School has been shut down with a heavy police presence actively investigating.”

Nearly 90 police officers from the San Antonio Independent School District and the San Antonio Police Department responded, but the number offered little comfort to parents aware of the police mistakes in the Uvalde shooting.

“People are scared, it’s understandable,” Reyes was quoted as saying by the Express-News. “But the most important thing to learn from this is: parents, be patient, we’re going to make sure your kids are safe, but be patient with us. Let’s go through our procedures and you’ll be fine.”

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One parent said he understood the actions of other parents who were desperate to make sure their children were safe.

“We are overwhelmed with fear of the worst,” Pete Vela told the… San Antonio Express News while he and his wife waited outside the school for their son.

Vela said he quit his job and got to school as soon as he could.

“Ultimately, if anyone was inside, I don’t blame the parents for wanting to go in, especially after what happened in Uvalde,” he told the newspaper.

In response to the threat, SASD posted a statement on its website. The statement reminded parents of the district’s safety protocols.

“It is important to note that for the safety of all concerned, when a school is closed, students and staff cannot be released until officers have determined the threat has been resolved, authorized and lifted the lockdown,” he said. the explanation. “Safety-first is the procedure we followed yesterday and we will continue to follow to keep you and your loved ones safe. We encourage families and staff to let agents follow the best practice protocols they have. process, we will deploy district staff on campus in the future to keep families on the ground updated on what is happening and the status of the reunification process.”

News week contacted the San Antonio Independent School District for comment.

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