According to Calvert, the incident is being investigated by the NCISD Police Department and the Porter High School administrative team, though he stressed that no gunshots were fired at the event.
“At no point were there any gunshots on the Porter High School campus,” Calvert said during the meeting. “Since Saturday night, there has been a continuous stream of allegations of what exactly happened at the homecoming dance, and the overwhelming majority of that information that has been shared online is filled with inaccuracies and only continues to be a disruption to the students, staff and families at Porter High School.”
Calvert said that at approximately 9:50 p.m. on Sept. 18, students reported to an on-duty NCISD police officer and a Porter High School assistant principal that they had heard a rumor suggesting someone had a gun at the event.
“The New Caney ISD police officers and the Porter High School administration team began to immediately investigate to find the source of the rumor and take any necessary action,” Calvert said.
At approximately 9:55 p.m., Calvert said a group of students began to walk to the parking lot to leave the dance. At approximately 10 p.m., a separate group of students ran out of the building toward where the students were leaving, causing a large group of students to run towards their vehicles.
“Shortly after that, students can be seen running out of the cafeteria to off-campus locations,” Calvert said. “At approximately 10:05 [p.m.], Porter High School’s administration was gathering students from various locations around the campus, checking on them and checking on their safety.”
Shannon Perry was among the group of parents who spoke at the Sept. 20 meeting.
“At 10:06 [p.m.], my 16-year-old son called me and the words he spoke I will forever have in my head,” Perry said, noting her son told her he thought there had been a shooting and that he was running away from the school. “I thought my son was going to die.”
Calvert said that, as a parent, he understood the fear that parents must have felt when receiving panicked calls from their children.
“This isn’t lost on any of us that this was a very stressful situation Saturday night,” Calvert said. “As a parent myself, I cannot imagine getting that phone call from my kid or their school, so it saddens me that the irresponsible actions of a few made this celebratory event so scary for so many [people]. Rest assured that once the investigation is complete, all of the appropriate disciplinary measures will be taken on the students who were responsible for this.”
Calvert said posts on social media helped disseminate misinformation about the events that occurred.
“To make matters worse, the flood of misinformation on various social media platforms has caused our students and parents to feel great concern for their safety at Porter High School,” Calvert said. “We will continue to provide factual information to our families at all times, especially when events such as this occur, after we have investigated all of the facts. The worst thing we can do is put out more misinformation during a stressful time.”
NCISD Board President Chad Turner addressed several parents' concerns who said they were not alerted of the incident in a timely manner.
“We will definitely work on our communication side of it to try and get you guys something quicker, even if it’s just a tidbit of what’s going on,” Turner said. “We agree that we could send a snippet of something out as quickly as possible. We definitely agree that we could have done better there, and that’s something we’ll look at internally.”