Three male juveniles were detained on Wednesday evening, September 11, after threats were made about allegedly “shooting up the school (Sarracino Middle School).”
Socorro Police Chief Mike Winders told the Socorro City Council Monday night all three individuals were taken into custody while officers worked diligently with Socorro Superintendent Ron Hendrix to ensure students’ safety the following day.
At this time, Winders said he's waiting on the District Attorney to decide on whether or not the three juveniles will be charged. The three individuals currently are not attending school.
Hendrix, in a statement on Facebook offered his apologies to parents who he had upset in attempt to explain the situation that happened last week.
“Wednesday evening (September 11) I was informed of a possible threat where some students had made comments about shooting up the school on Sept. 12th.
Our incredible law enforcement immediately began investigating. Through the night I was kept informed and told that the students were being picked up and questioned. I got word late that evening that the students were released, told they could not come to school, and that the investigation would continue. I was assured that the police department and the Sheriff’s department would have a strong presence at the school on Thursday.
I thought about making a robo call but decided that disturbing families that late over something I felt was settled, was inappropriate. I was between a rock and a hard place and I made a judgement call. In hindsight, I guess I should have just made the call. I chose instead to make a Facebook post and to make the call the next morning.
Last year we had five threats made to the high school. All of these threats were investigated and found to not be credible.
Even then, we were joined by the law enforcement agencies to make sure that our schools were safe. For the first threat we excused absences even though we had let people know that there was no danger. Over half of the school left. Three of the next ‘threats’ were invented by students who wanted another day off. I know people don’t want to believe that students would do that, but they did.
This put me in another difficult situation ... do I stop this behavior by saying that the absences would not be excused, or do I let this interruption to my students learning continue?
I chose what I felt was best for our students’ education. The false threats stopped. That is the reasoning behind my initial decision to not excuse the absences in this instance. I understand that parents have the absolute right to keep their students home if they choose to. At some point though, I have the responsibility to make sure our kids are in school and learning. ... If you kept your student home on Thursday (September 12), they will be excused.
Anyone who knows me personally and not through what they read on Facebook, knows that I take the safety of our students very seriously...as if they were my own children. I would invite anyone who would like to meet me in person to please come to the office to see where my heart really is.”
Socorro Consolidated School Board has adopted policies on student conduct within the school district. The policy notes, “…students are expected to obey all rules and regulations adopted by the school board and to obey any order given by a member of the faculty or staff relating to school activities.”
Students also are not to engage in improper behavior, including obstructing, disrupting or interfering with teaching, research, service, administrative or disciplinary functions, or any activity sponsored or approved by the board. That policy also notes students who damage or threaten to damage district property.
Any student who violates the policies and regulations will be subject to discipline up to expulsion, in addition to civil and criminal prosecution. Those punishments may be in addition to any customary discipline that the school district presently dispenses.