Triple threat

Repeated bomb threats leave district scrambling, students uneasy

Overwhelmed+by+the+chaos%2C+a+students+phones+a+family+member+to+alert+them+of+the+bomb+threat+on+the+school.+Since+January%2C+three+bomb+threats+have+been+made+on+THS.+

Peyton Sims

Overwhelmed by the chaos, a students phones a family member to alert them of the bomb threat on the school. Since January, three bomb threats have been made on THS.

Story by Doug Kyles, news editor

Out of nowhere a calm, yet startling, voice comes across the announcement system, and thousands of peoples’ days are derailed for the next hour or more. As hordes of students and staff scramble out of classes, fear and confusion fill the air.

From late January to late February, three separate bomb threats were made against Texas High School. The school worked with local police forces and the F.B.I. to investigate the situation.

On Jan. 26, the first threat arrived via a spoofed (disguised) email account. The F.B.I. traced this threat from an overseas location. In response to this, the students were evacuated to the THS track, where they stayed until a sweep of the school was conducted. 

Subsequently, on Feb. 2, exactly one week later and during the same class period, the school was evacuated once more. The threat was again traced back to an email.

Threats one and two were reported to have been identified by the FBI, and the perpetrators are likely to face full charges pressed by TISD, according to the district. If the perpetrator(s) are students (their identity has not been publicly released) TISD says they will, in addition to criminal charges, put in place disciplinary measures, likely including expulsion. 

Remarkably, a third threat was made on Feb. 24, almost a full month after the first threat. This threat wasn’t as credible, according to local authorities, as it came from an Instagram account that was activated, then deactivated. Since it was made early in the morning, local police had a chance to scan the facilities before classes started, so school was not delayed.

The last time Texarkana ISD faced threats like these was eight years ago. According to Executive Director of Public Relations Tina Veal-Gooch, TISD learned a valuable lesson: those making threats are likely just enjoying the publicity, and will offend again if given the chance. 

The F.B.I.’s incredible skill is the only factor that made tracking the supposedly untrackable source possible. There are ways students, however, can help prevent and track these occurrences when they do happen. 

Tiger Watch is a completely anonymous way to report information on threats like these, or on any topic that concerns student and staff safety. Those who use the service only have to put their information should they choose to, and otherwise will be free from any involvement in investigations.

TISD encourages the use of Tiger Watch to avoid instances like these happening again. You can find the site linked here