Threats made at local school in Houston

By Lisa Voyles/Chickasaw Journal

HOUSTON – Parents and passers-by were alarmed last week to see police officers at Houston Upper Elementary School but district Superintendent Dr. Steve Coker said procedures and policies were followed after two separate incidents of threatening behavior.

Coker said the first incident involved a student who threatened a teacher and made threats of violence in the lunchroom.

“He made inappropriate comments to the teacher and the other students and we did take it very seriously,” Coker said.

The student received a ten-day suspension and will have to provide psychiatric confirmation that he is not a threat to himself or anyone else before being reinstated to the school.

“This student is not on campus or in school,” Coker said.

In an unrelated incident on a different day, a student became agitated in the classroom and struck out at the principal who was trying to remove him from the room.

Coker said the student is in an alternative setting not associated with the school district.

Coker went on to say that aggressive behavior and threats are taken seriously in the district.

“When we start dealing with physical activity or threats, we don’t play,” Coker said. “There are key words that make our hot buttons go off real quick.”

According to the HLES/HUES handbook, Class A offenses are “situations that exhibit a threat of intent to do harm,” and “will be immediately placed on the discipline procedure for expulsion.”

Class A offenders are to be suspended until such time as a meeting is held by the Board of Trustees. Parents must petition for re-entry and provide psychological examination results at that time.

A Class B offense is deemed, “non-threatening but questionable in nature,” and will result in, “a parent conference and ten-day suspension.”

Parents must provide a psychological behavioral evaluation to the board within two weeks before the child may be reinstated to the school.

In disciplinary cases, the principal of the school is responsible for making the recommendation for suspension or expulsion.

An e-mail contact to HUES Principal Shannon Eaton for additional information on the suspensions was not returned.