Midway Middle School

A letter Midway Middle School Principal Herb Cox sent to parents Thursday.

Midway Independent School District officials sent an email to parents Thursday afternoon saying a social media rumor about a threat to harm students at Midway Middle School on Friday is without merit.

Midway Middle School Principal Herb Cox sent the email at about 4 p.m., stating school officials have been working directly with students who overheard a threat and reported it to Cox. Officials have identified the source and nature of the threat and have resolved the situation, Cox said.

“That situation has been investigated and resolved by the MMS Admin TEAM, our school resource officer and me,” Cox wrote. “The threat was to one individual student rather than to the entire school. The issue was investigated quickly and appropriate disciplinary consequences are in effect for the offender.”

The situation comes a week after a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead.

“In light of the recent incident that occurred at the high school in Florida, we know that parents, students and teachers all have a heightened sense of awareness regarding safety on our campus right now,” Cox wrote. “Please take the time to visit with your students about how important it is for them not to joke about any type of threat at school, even among friends.”

Cox also encouraged students to approach school personnel if they see or hear anything suspicious, so officials can act appropriately.

Hewitt Police Chief Jim Devlin said officers acted quickly to address rumors about the threat that spread on social media. He said officers determined the rumor was unfounded and also fielded several phone calls to address concerns.

“I think some people, including students, are taking advantage of the sheer terror of the mass incident that took place in Parkland, Florida,” Devlin said. “This was not an intentional school threat, but people are hyper sensitive to the fact that a horrible tragedy took place and a lot of people can relate to that.

“But I would say, as a chief of police, I would rather get information and prove that it’s not true than to not ever get that information and something terrible happen.”

Tribune-Herald staff writer Kristin Hoppa contributed to this report.

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