FBISD, FBCSO officials respond to campus threat after Florida shooting

On Friday, Feb. 16, a shooting threat was made to Fort Bend ISD campus Billy Baines Middle School in Sienna Plantation via Snapchat, according to a release from the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office.

The threat came after FBISD officials released a statement Thursday, Feb. 15 regarding regular safety drills and procedures in response to the shooting that occurred in a Florida school on last week, reinforcing that safety is the top priority in the district.

The student who made the threat within the district was arrested off campus for making a terroristic threat and is in the juvenile detention facility, according to FBCSO officials.

"Parents need to have a conversation with their child about the seriousness of posting threats on social media," Sheriff Troy E. Nehls said.

Each FBISD campus regularly practices safety drills to prepare for various scenarios, including active shooter situations, according to the release. The district utilizes Standard Response Protocols—a nationwide effort to simplify and standardize emergency response in schools.

Fire drills are also conducted monthly on FBISD campuses and at least two safety drills are conducted annually for a lockdown, lockout or shelter in-place situation. Shelter in-place drills can be in response to severe weather, hazardous materials or a medical emergency, according to the release.

All FBISD campuses have exterior doors locked during school hours, and all visitors must enter in the main entrance of each school and provide proper identification. The district also employs a full-time emergency management coordinator who ensures all staff and students are prepared for an emergency.

The district's police department receives extensive training for emergencies, such as active shooter situations, and many safety and security improvements have been made in the last few years, according to district officials. By the end of 2018, all FBISD campuses will have security vestibules at each entrance.

FBISD Superintendent Charles Dupre released the following statement last week regarding the shooting in Florida:

"Watching the news this morning and thinking about the students and community impacted by yesterday's events at a Florida school, I was especially moved by an interview with a teacher who put her training into action to protect her students. She is being lauded as a hero. And that title is well deserved. But I was also filled with pride knowing that we have heroes in FBISD, too.

Our teachers and staff earn this title every day as they address our students' questions, listen to their concerns, and provide them assurance that they will be safe at school, especially today. As a district, we will wrap our arms of love and care around our students and community to ease their hearts and minds.

We have counselors on hand to work with students who may be struggling or who may need encouragement as we all process through these horrific events. Events of this nature impact the adults in our system, too. We have put measures in place to address their needs as well. None of us can carry such a burden alone, and as a community we will walk through this season arm-in-arm to lift one another.

I also want you to know that our police department will be on high alert and working with our partner police forces to provide extra patrols during the coming days. Many of you may be wondering about our emergency management program and our safety protocols. We have posted our safety and drill information on our website, with details about our efforts to ensure student and staff safety. I encourage you to review this information.

I will be joining many others in praying for our friends in Florida and for our FBISD family as we stand together."

The district offers counseling resources to all students, and help is also available 24/7 by calling 281-240-8255. Students are also encouraged to report illegal activities that take place on school property by calling the Student Crime Stoppers hotline at 281-491-8477.
By Beth Marshall
Born and raised in Montgomery County, Beth Marshall graduated from The University of Texas at San Antonio in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in communication and a minor in business. Originally hired as a reporter for The Woodlands edition in 2016, she became editor of the Sugar Land/Missouri City edition in October 2017.


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