San Marcos hosts terror threat preparedness workshop for schools

Hays

San Marcos (KXAN)  — Bomb threats to schools are increasing and have been for the past 10 years, according to the Educators School Safety Network.

This information was presented to dozens of school districts and law enforcement officers at a workshop in San Marcos. 

“We definitely see students who are making threats against their own school, we see outside actors,” said Amanda Klinger from the ESSN. “In the last couple of years, we’ve seen threats that were made by teachers, secretaries, parents. Really everywhere.”

Representatives from various ISDs and law enforcement agencies from across Texas were at the San Marcos Conference Center to take in the research ESSN has amassed in the last 10 years. 

Statistically, the ESSN says there were at least 3,380 threats recorded in the 2017-18 school year, a 62 percent increase from 2,085 threats in the 2016-17 school year.

The ESSN goes on to say: “The increase in actual incidents is even more alarming. This past school year included at least 279 incidents of violence compared to 131 events in the 2016-2017 school year — an increase of 113 percent.”

A link to the complete study can be found here.

“Since the beginning of our research, we’ve been tracking some level of social media threats, but we are right around 50 percent of the threats we track involve the use of social media,” said Klinger. 

Philip Taylor, head of security for Hays CISD, said they have a good handle on threats that are aimed at his district, but stresses vigilance is key. “Nobody knows their classrooms better than teachers, nobody knows their schools better than students — if you see something that’s out of place, say something about it.”

The workshop was a two-day affair that was hosted by the Texas State State School Saftey Center. The center is a one-of-a-kind place open to any ISD that could use aid in bolstering it’s safety as threats increase. 

The center and the ESSN said they are always looking to work with any school district or private school. 

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