Friday, Dec. 21 is on the Whitehouse ISD calendar as an early release day for Whitehouse ISD.
Captain Steve Henry of the Whitehouse Police Department tells KLTV that as a result of social media discussion regarding the Newtown school shooting and the Mayan doomsday prediction that have some parents concerned, Whitehouse ISD will have increased school security on each campus on their already-scheduled early-release day on Friday.
According to a release from Whitehouse police, "due to recent incidents in and around Smith County and social media discussion of possible threats of violence Friday, The Whitehouse Police Department will have law enforcement officers stationed that morning on every campus in the morning and during early release." Specifically, Captain Henry told us that all seven campuses will have one police officer on campus for extra security during the school day and through its planned early release on Friday.
Parents should be assured that students Friday will not be in danger, said the police statement. "Our campuses will be safe." Friday will be the first time a police officer will be placed at every Whitehouse ISD campus. Threats of violence aren't new to campuses but we are taking extra precautions at this time this time in light of the Newtown shootings and drama surrounding the Mayan prediction of end of earth on December 21st.
"It is our promise that student safety and security is a non-negotiable priority. We encourage parents or students with information regarding a violent threat should contact WHPD or a school official instead of posting to social media," the police department said in the release.
Lastly, they ask that parents speak with children about not bringing a weapon on campus for protection. "That is unacceptable. No firearms. No knives. No weapons of any sort."
The police press release further states, "We will emphasizing our pledge that the fall term ends without incident, "Our campuses will be safe because we'll be there.""
Superintendent Daniel DuPree says there has been no specific threats of violence against Whitehouse ISD. Their school calendar has been set for more than a year. The early release Friday was set at that time.
Early release Friday has nothing to do with Newtown, CT or what happened at Palestine or Longview schools Tuesday.
This morning, Whitehouse Police offered some help for Friday. It was their plan. DuPree says he appreciates their help, but the district did not ask for their help.
DuPree got an email from SRO this morning about police making the decision to have officers present before school time and at dismissal time Friday.
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