Superintendent addresses communications protocol and rumors after lockdown

COPPERAS COVE, TX – Many parents at Copperas Cove High School are unhappy that they were not immediately notified of the school’s closure on Monday.

“I saw a message on Facebook around 12:45 pm-12:50 pm,” said Amanda Falk, a CCHS parent. “[My son] started texting me just before noon. [My daughter] texted me at 12:05 p.m.

During this time, a crowd of parents rushed to the doors of the school.

Several parents told 25 News that they first heard the news from their children via text message, not from the district.

“When you have 2,400 children and you try to get the police to where they need to be, you try to make sure the children are safe, everything is done for the safety of the students and the staff, and then we we take care of the communication outside, ”said Dr Joe Burns, Superintendent of Copperas Cove.

As the high school students squatted in their classrooms, rampant rumors spread on social media.

“There is no way to control who says what on social media. There are still social media issues that are patently bogus, ”said Dr Burns

Copperas Cove Police Chief Eddie Wilson released new details on the incident on Tuesday. He said the police department had received information from a third party that a high school student was in possession of a gun. Officers immediately began trying to locate the student who matched the very vague description given to them.

Police interviewed witnesses and were ultimately able to identify a suspect. While investigating, they discovered that there had never been a gun at the school, but the suspect had a knife.

Some parents asked why the automated alert system had not been used earlier.

“When we’re trying to solve a problem like this, it’s very difficult to take someone out, put them on the computer and do whatever they need to do to send an e- mail or something, ”Dr. Burns said.

Police Chief Wilson took to social media to address those same concerns.

“If the choice is to be made between hurting feelings or seeing children hurt, I think everyone knows how we will continue to choose. Parents need to understand that notification is not at the top of the list, especially when we are still not sure about the situation ourselves, ”said Chief Wilson.

The administration is conducting an after action review to assess the actions taken on Monday. The analysis should take place in the next few days.


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