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Hereford ISD reviews response to potential threat

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HEREFORD - The grades are in after Hereford ISD put safety procedures to the test Thursday after a potential threat.     

It all started from a text message.

"The threat proved non-existent," Hereford Police Chief Brent Harrison said.
     
Harrison says some students overheard a hypothetical conversation between a mother and daughter about what would happen in the case of a shooting at Hereford High. Those students started texting, and it all blew up from there.

"I can say with a reasonable amount of certainty that there was not a threat, that it was merely a misconception and an over-reaction," Harrison said.
    
After receiving several phone calls from concerned parents, the district advised students not to leave the classroom they were in so they could locate the students at the source of the rumor.

"Some people might call it a soft lock down," said Hereford ISD Superintendent Kelli Moulton. "When we found the students that the police and administrators needed to talk to, things were fine."
      
But in this modern day of social media and texting, parents got word of the "soft lock down." It took about an hour for the district to inform parents through their school messenger system.

Parents signed up for the message system when registering their children in school. Those parents who did not get an e-mail, text, or call can register for the system on the Hereford ISD website.

"For some of those parents, they were like 'we didn't know anything was wrong until you called us. Why did you panic us.' the other ones said 'ugh. Finally the facts,'" Moulton said.

The district met with police today to brainstorm ways they can better communicate with parents in an emergency. But overall, school administrators and the police give themselves an A+ for how the situation was handled.
   
Many parents don't feel the same way.

"They need to come out with a better strategy," said one parent. "Because if it was a joke or not, it scared all of us."

Since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, Hereford ISD has conducted live shooter trainings with campus staff members. They also now require classroom doors to be shut and locked during instruction. All precautions the district hopes will never be necessary.
 

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