Parents React To Ore City School Threat - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/9/07-Longview

Parents React To Ore City School Threat

      Some angry backlash Friday against authorities from parents over a threat made towards an East Texas school. At the heart of that anger, where does a parents right to know about threats end, and law enforcement and a school's responsibility to disclose begin? On Tuesday , 17 year old Michael Hickson was arrested, after making an online threat to blow up his school in Ore city. While parents say they should have been informed, while  authorities say they did not want to start a panic.    Until KLTV's broadcast Thursday, many parents and relatives of Ore City students had no idea of the investigation into the alleged threats.

     "We were completely shocked, didn't know anything about it , didn't have a clue" said Marsha Price, who has several children in Ore City schools.

    "It wasn't handled properly that it should have been handled different with parents and grandparents" said John Martaindale, grandfather of 6 Ore City students.

       The threats reportedly showed up on Michael Hickson's myspace page. His postings include satanic references , and his intent to graphically harm students in ore city.

 And according to his arrest affidavit, Hickson spent time in a Shreveport clinic for behavioral problems.

    "A while back Michael and I used to be really good friends and then we quit hanging out, so when I heard it, it surprised me" said Hickson's former classmate Brittany Pierce.

       The school cooperated with the investigation and with authorities who didn't disclose the incident, seeking to avoid a panic.

     "We were concerned about the safety of our students so we we were proactive , we took immediate action, and informed law enforcement and they took over really from that point" said Ore City superintendent Lynn Hefner.

    When the investigation began last week Hickson was prohibited from being on the campus and administrators say there was no danger to the students at the time, but parents are still angry at not being told earlier.

     "I think they should have told us something about it and I don't feel that keeping him from coming to school stopped any harm to our children" said Price.

      Hickson remains in the Upshur county jail on 250- thousand dollars bond. If convicted on the felony charges of terroristic threat, he could face up to 10 years in prison.

Bob Hallmark/bhallmark@kltv.com .

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