CCISD Threats: Behind the Scenes

CCISD Threats: Behind the Scenes

Kylie McKinney, Reporter

Throughout the past years, school threats have been an ongoing issue and are only getting worse. After the threats towards CCISD said on Sunday, Nov. 6, it brought curiosity regarding the process taken by authority figures in order to thoroughly investigate and rule out any danger towards staff and students.  

The principal here at Clear Lake High School, Mrs. Raska, walks us through a behind the scenes experience, regarding CCISD threats.  

“Depending on how the threat is received, most coming through social media, the administration initiates an investigation,” Mrs. Raska said. “If the threat is reported through the see something say something app, the district gets it first before it comes to us.” 

Social media is continuously evolving each and every day. New forms of communication are arising, leaving high schoolers to engage a majority of their time racing to keep up with each other, which sometimes creates negative conflict.  

“If a post is made and is intended to be anonymous but is making a threat, law enforcement immediately gets involved,” Mrs. Raska said. “Once law enforcement gets involved, they start tracking through the network, the IP address of the internet services that were used to make that threat which not just pinpoints the IP address of who posted it, but it also gives a GPS location of the person when they posted it.” 

There has never been an instance in CCISD where a student got away with making a threat. As soon as a threat is said, depending on the case, different types of law enforcement immediately get involved.  

“As an example, the threat made last Monday, not only involved our campus SLO’s, Galveston County deputies, but also involved the Department of Public Safety, so DPS troopers were involved, state level law enforcement officers,” Mrs. Raska said. “There have been occasions where some of these threats came across state lines, such as the bomb threat at clear brook last year which came from someone who didn’t even live in the state and so in these instances, federal level law enforcement may get involved, the FBI.” 

Granite law enforcement is the sole resource regarding investigation, many social media platforms also play a role in the pinpointing of suspicious language or behavior. 

“All of the major social media platforms have red flag triggers in their firewall system, so when you post something that uses certain terminology it’s going to get flagged for review and if they see something that’s concerning it will automatically get reported to either a local law enforcement agency or to the FBI,” Mrs. Raska said. “If then they feel as if there is some concern about it, they will then make arrests which has happened in CCISD, such as Monday where there were arrests of two students.” 

In some cases, there is no way to tell whether a threat was meant to be portrayed in a jokingly way or a serious manner, which is why not just CCISD, but schools all over the nation, take extreme levels of precaution.  

“Unfortunately, in response to all of the horrible things that have happened in education, anytime were dealing with human life, especially kids, we would rather air on the side of caution as opposed to be so lackadaisical,” Mrs. Raska said. “Were always going to be overly cautious in that sense and make sure we take every single threat seriously.” 

Overwhelming feelings can sometimes take over people physically, mentally, and emotionally. However, some kids don’t have the capabilities to maturely work through things which is why they then reflect this anger onto other people. 

“A lot of times what we will do initially, administratively, is give the students space from one another which sometimes come in the form of suspension out of school which gives the student space which is really and truly what they need in order to calm down and deescalate before addressing the situation,” Mrs. Raska said. “However situations like last Monday where we can’t verify that quickly enough, law enforcement is absolutely going to get involved.” 

Many districts in Houston cancelled school in order for staff and students to be able to enjoy the Astros parade which took place Monday the 8th. However, due to CCISD choosing to stay open with the option of an excused absence, people were still upset over this.  

“Shutting school is a last minute decision, and granite it was a cool parade, we have a large population of students who receive services here that they need on a daily basis such as early childhood for parents who need their kids to be in school so they can go to work, we also have students who are on free and reduced lunch and the only time they eat something sometimes may be at school.” Raska said. “There are just many different groups of people who rely on school for not just the education side of things” 

It is important for not just children, but adults as well, to be educated regarding safety when it comes to school threats. There are many instances where students say or do something “as a joke,” but then receive high level of punishment. This is why it is important for them to think before they post, act, or say. 

“I would love for students to think before they post and speak,” Mrs. Raska said. “We tend to lead with our emotions and in a situation where we are angry, we tend to see a lot more of reactionary behaviors instead of responsive behaviors and so we have to be more careful because we don’t live in an environment where our conflicts are easily resolved, they tend to follow us home.” 

In today’s time, it is important for us to unite and work as a team rather than against each other. Mrs. Raska claims social media has negatively impacted student behavior and has influenced others not always in a positive light. 

“I would really love for our community to spend some time with one another and get to know each other to just focus on conflict resolution and interpersonal relationships with one another,” Mrs. Raska said. “We have been seeing an uptick in students making inappropriate commentary on social media that was leading them to receive disciplinary actions, law enforcement citations, and DAEP.” 

CCISD has experienced both false and real threats. The precautions and process taken with these incidents are always done thoroughly and never blow off in order to prioritize the safety of the staff and students.