Education News

Houston Schools On High Alert After Evaluating Threat Of Violence

HISD asks parents and students to be vigilant Thursday morning, and report any suspicious activity to police.

HISD Police Chief Robert Mock stands at a podium and tells reporters that the school system remains on high alert.

HISD Police Chief Robert Mock said that the school system remains on high alert.

Houston schools are in session after the district received emails threatening violence Wednesday night.

As soon as they received the threat Houston, law enforcement officers tried to determine if it was legitimate.

“We looked at it closely and looked at the feasibility, if this is something that could actually occur, and based on the circumstances and what’s in the email, we made the determination that it was more than likely not a credible threat,” said Robert Mock, chief of police for the Houston Independent School District.

Mock said that the email was almost identical to threats sent to other schools this week in Los Angeles, New York, Miami and Dallas.

He added that while it was generic, it also had “over the top” threats” and was sent to multiple email addresses, including HISD Superintendent Terry Grier.

Mock said that police officers conducted random sweeps of campuses and extra officers have stepped up patrols.

“Students, teachers, parents, we can’t be everywhere at one time, so anything they see or think they see, please let us or the other authorities know,” he said.

Mock said that HISD continues to work with other law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, and will stay on high alert.

A spokeswoman with HISD said that attendance records aren’t available yet, but so far it seems most students showed up for class.

Update: HISD has released the text of the email threat. It is below:

Hello there. There is something you should know about, taking place 
tomorrow of 12/17/15, Thursday.
My story starts here. I have been bullied every day here, in one of the 
district high schools. Just because, I am ‘different’. I turned to 
religion, to solve my problems, and found faith and comfort in Allah. He 
has helped me through a lot. So now, I must help him. He has called upon 
me and my fellow comrades to take action against you blasphemers and 
non-believers. You have denied Allah for too long. My 46 Jihad 
affiliates and I are going to unleash an massacre of epic proportion, 
targeting every single school and student in the district. We have an 
assorted collection of Kalashnikov rifles, MG240 Light machine guns, RPG 
Launchers, .50 Cal Sniper rifles, hand grenades, and to top it off: 
suicide vests. We have already planted napalm, propane, and pressure 
cooker explosives in multiple schools. They are set to go off in places 
that will cause maximum structural damage to each building: for maximum 
casualty. First responders will be in for quite the surprise, as we have 
highly trained sniper forces straight from Ar Raqqa. We will fight for 
our cause tomorrow, and all students in every school in the entire 
district will be slaughtered for their blasphemy and unbelief in the one 
true God, Allah. You will no longer get away with your dishonesty to our 
prophet.
Allah has called upon us:
Quran (3:56) – “As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with 
terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have 
anyone to help.”

You will no longer deny the wrath of Allah. He has sent us to serve his 
holy army.
My name is (name redacted). You may not know this name now, 
but my name will be known to everyone. I will be known as the one man 
who truly saved this earth. For Allah.
And if you think you will stop us, by canceling schools, or perhaps, 
adding security, it will not help.
If school is canceled, then there will be bombings regardless of whether 
students are there or not, and mass shootings will be taken to the 
streets. If security is stepped up, for tomorrow’s fatwa, it will not 
help. We will take out any police and other security by any means 
necessary, even if we go down with them.

الله أكبر
‏محمد رسول الله

 

He added that while it was generic, it also had “over the top threats” and was sent to multiple email addresses, including HISD Superintendent Terry Grier.

Mock said that police officers conducted random sweeps of campuses and extra officers have stepped up patrols.

“Students, teachers, parents, we can’t be everywhere at one time, so anything they see or think they see, please let us or the other authorities know,” he said.

Mock said that HISD continues to work with other law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, and will stay on high alert.

A spokeswoman with HISD said that attendance records aren’t available yet, but so far it seems most students showed up for class.

 

 

Share

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

More Information