Dallas Students React To Online Threat Against Some Schools | KERA News

Dallas Students React To Online Threat Against Some Schools

Dec 17, 2015

Thursday was an uneasy day for schools in Dallas and others across the country. Two days after Los Angeles schools closed down because of threats, districts in Dallas, Houston and Florida decided to stay open after receiving similar threats.

Pinkston High School and Eladio Martinez Learning Center in West Dallas were searched and given the all-clear. KERA checked in at another Dallas school to see how students were holding up.

A number of Dallas schools have been locked down this year because of different threats. It didn’t happen Thursday morning because officials gave a thumbs-up before sunrise.

Seagoville High Junior Maelbi Calderon says this is getting old.

“Oh, the school’s going on lockdown... ugh! We all know nothing’s going to happen,” Maelbi says. “If there’s a threat, it’s just a call for attention. If something were to happen, it would just happen. The thing is, if you’re going to shoot up a school, if you’re going to blow up something, you don’t want them to know because you don’t want them to stop you. That’s your only cause. If there’s a threat, then nine times out of 10, it’s a fake.”

Then again, says AP history classmate Trina Jones, you can’t know for sure.

Trina Jones, Seagoville High junior, says you can't safely ignore threats like ones made against Dallas and other school districts, even though all ended up being hoaxes.
Credit Bill Zeeble / KERA News

“There are people who think the threats are real,” Jones says. “They may be real, they may not be. You never know, but every threat should be counted seriously.”  

Dig a little deeper, and broad threats become more personal.

“My mom shouldn’t watch the news one night and worry about me going to school the next day,” says Alex Banda, a 16-year-old at Seagoville High.

“And I shouldn’t have to worry about my little brother and little sister’s security at their elementary school either," Alex said. "Because school is supposed to be a safe place where we teach the next generation how to be a person.”   

Kids in this class liked that officials spent all night investigating the threat before giving the all clear. 

Alex Banda, 16, is in the same Seagoville High AP History class.
Credit Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Michael Casserly praised them, too.  He’s executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Council of Great City Schools.

“What we can’t do is start shutting everything down every time somebody says boo,” Casserly says. “We do have to be vigilant. And we do have to make sure that the safety of the kids is always the first priority.”

Some in the 11th grade AP history class at Seagoville said if those who made the threat turn out to be Dallas ISD kids, they should be tried as adults.

16-year-old Kyra Ughulu said these threats have gone too far.

“We need to do something to stop it,” Kyra says. “I mean a lot of people propose gun control. And then a lot of people are opposed to that. Like you can’t take my guns and things like that. But why should you feel like you have to arm yourself everywhere you go to feel protected?”

The good news out of all this? Nothing came of the threats made this week at schools here and across the country.