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Two individuals were detained Wednesday morning after a threat at Alton Memorial Junior High, Alton Police Chief Jonathan B. Flores confirmed.
“Our agency did respond to Alton Memorial Junior High in reference to a school threat,” he said via text.
According to Flores, two individuals were detained and an investigation is underway. He said the campus was placed on lockdown and resumed normal operations after being cleared by Alton police and the Hidalgo County Precinct 3 Constable’s Office.
“The lockdown procedure was initiated based on a report that a student claimed to have a ‘gun’ on school grounds,” a statement from Mission CISD reads. “Upon receiving the report lockdown procedures were initiated and the campus police officer and local law enforcement were notified. A search was conducted, and it was determined that the claim was false. The officers determined that there was no gun on school grounds. The entire campus was secured and searched during our response.
“To be clear no weapon was found and students and staff are safe.”
The statement says a police officer is assigned to the campus as part of normal summer school operations. It also acknowledges that the commotion may have caused some anxiety among students and the district counseling team is being made available to them.
The campus is continuing with its regular schedule for the day.
“District officials remind parents and the community that the safety and security of students and staff takes everyone working together,” the statement reads. “As always, should any student have a safety concern, they are encouraged to notify an adult on campus so the appropriate steps can be taken.”
The threat in Alton is just the latest in a rash of threats to Rio Grande Valley schools in the wake of the Uvalde shooting last Tuesday.
Over the course of last week, authorities have arrested 10 other individuals for threatening schools in the Donna, Edinburg, Mercedes, PSJA, Raymondville, Rio Hondo and Vanguard districts.
Authorities have said increased law enforcement is present at virtually every district, and school systems have tightened security measures for the tail end of the school year.
However, the tragedy in Uvalde and repeated threats locally has sparked rumors and agitated tensions.
Rumors apparently ran rampant in Mercedes last week after two separate threats at the district and an evacuation that confused parents. After a threat in Edinburg, Hidalgo County Sheriff J.E. “Eddie” Guerra said parents went by campuses to pick up their children, or kept them home from school entirely.
Last week, on its last day of school, McAllen ISD Superintendent J.A. Gonzalez sent out a message to parents and staff addressing social media rumors about claims of harm at schools in McAllen or elsewhere in the Valley, claims he said were unfounded.
“McAllen ISD Police and Administration has reviewed these claims and found no validity or credibility to any of them,” he wrote. “It is unfortunate that, following a tragedy such as the one that occurred in Uvalde, Texas this week, “copy cats” will take advantage of heightened sensitivity in every community.”
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include a statement from Mission CISD.