This past week, the administration at Deer Park Junior High (DPJH) along with the Deer Park Police Department joined to investigate a note regarding harmful threats to the student body. October 9th, a Deer Park Junior High student noticed a message on one of the sewing machines in the family consumer science classroom. The student let the teacher know and then the information was immediately relayed to administration where it was looked into over the three day weekend.
Deer Park Junior High increased security in response to the threat while continuing with their investigation.
“Although Deer Park Junior High is the main focus, other campuses in DPISD were looked at and additional measures put in place where necessary,” Lieutenant Chris Brown of the Deer Park Police Department said.
Furthermore, students feel safer knowing that there is an increased police presence.
“I was scared, but I’m trying to ignore the threats,” DPJH 8th-grader Jackson Moore said.
With all of the extra security, the school believes they will be able to control any situation that may occur.
School officials also asked the parent organization, WATCH D.O.G.S. for help monitoring the school for the day.
“Additional police officers were at DPJH today, and we were proud to have several members of DPJH’s WATCH D.O.G.S. program at the school as well. You could not walk down any of the halls without seeing at least one adult, which we hope was comforting to our students,” District Communication’s Director Matt Lucas said.
Subsequently, the district takes measures to identify problems before they occur. Programs such as No Place for Hate were put into place to involve students and keep them informed on how to communicate with our community and administration in case a problem arises.
“When students feel connected to and involved in their school, they are more successful academically and less likely to be involved in negative behaviors such as threats. As a student, you’re probably also aware that routine safety drills are scheduled at our schools. And, of course, we have counseling programs available to students who have emotional needs,” Lucas said.
As communities throughout the U.S. continue to experience school violence and threats, preparation and planning are necessary to keep students and teachers safe.
“Of course, school safety isn’t a goal that is ever really reached. We are constantly looking for ways to improve security,” Lucas said.