Editor's note: This article has been updated throughout.
The Denison Police Department arrested a Denison High School ninth grader Thursday for making a terroristic threat against the school.
A press release issued by the Denison Independent School District Friday stated the male student became angry over some comments someone allegedly made about him. The student began making threats to a teacher, saying he was going to shoot up the school, according to a press release from the Denison Police Department. The teacher reported the incident to the Denison ISD security team, who in turn handed it over to Denison Police.
Superintendent Henry Scott said the student was no longer on campus and no weapons were found on his person at the time.
“In today’s society, this is the way things are done,” Scott said. “Now with safety and security, when someone makes a threat against the school this is what happens. Some years ago, this wouldn’t have been as big a deal. Now every threat is taken seriously no matter how innocent it might be.”
Earlier this month, Denison ISD finalized agreements with the city that will allow it to hire two new, permanent school resource officers to provide security at Scott Middle School and Denison High School. That was the latest example of an increase in security spending the district has done following highly publicized shootings in Parkland, Florida, and Santa Fe, Texas, earlier this year.
Scott said he wasn’t aware of any prior history of violence concerning the student, but if he is allowed to return, the student will have to be placed into some sort of alternative education program, though the details of that will be determined at a later time.
A Denison Police press release said the student was apprehended around 2:30 p.m. when Denison officers responded to the threat. Lt. Mike Eppler said the student was taken into custody and charged with making a terroristic threat, which is a misdemeanor. The case has now been handed over to the juvenile probation department. Eppler also said there were no weapons involved and it was a verbal threat only.
Currently, the district contracts four personnel to provide a physical security presence for the district. These personnel include two full-time security officers and two off-duty Denison Police officers, who serve as school resource officers. District officials previously said these officers rotate on a daily basis and are not consistently the same police officials.
The move to increase the physical security presence on its campuses comes as the district has invested more than $200,000 in security upgrades for the current school year. The district also put in place a new background check software in district campuses that checks the identification of individuals who are attempting to enter into district schools. In addition to these updates, the district also has purchased hand-held metal detectors for each school.