A Harker Heights parent said his child was threatened with a knife by another student last week.
The incident, which school officials said is still under investigation, follows a spate of public reports of students being caught with weapons on Killeen Independent School District campuses.
Steven Spillman told the Herald the incident took place Friday between his son, a freshman, and another student at Harker Heights High School. Spillman said there was a verbal altercation between the two students that escalated.
The confrontation ended with the student allegedly pulling a knife on his son, Spillman said. “The boy pulled the knife and told my son he was going to stab him with it.”
As of Tuesday, Spillman said he was told the student is no longer on campus, but only after he said he wrangled with several school and district officials.
“I had to rattle some cages,” Spillman said. “My son was a victim, and I didn’t want to just stand aside.”
Killeen ISD issued a statement from Superintendent Robert Muller, which stated the matter was still under investigation.
“The district considers such alleged incidents seriously and will respond in accordance” with state law and district policy, Muller said.
According to previous reports confirmed by the district, Friday’s incident marked the fifth time a student has brought a weapon to a Killeen ISD campus in 2014. In one of the incidents, the gun was a fake, school officials said.
Three of those incidents, including the one involving Spillman’s son, occurred at one of the district’s high schools.
On Jan. 30, 17-year-old Jonathon Allen Hampton was arrested after Killeen ISD police said they searched a backpack in his locker and found a .22-caliber pistol, ammunition and a ski mask. On March 26, school officials confiscated a weapon from a student at Charles Patterson Middle School. That student was a minor and was not identified by the district or police.
On April 4, Killeen ISD police searched a backpack belonging to 17-year-old Killeen High School student Brandon Tiontre Woods and found a .38-caliber pistol. Just three days later, police took a Killeen ISD student into custody at Palo Alto Middle School for possession of an “imitation” gun designed to shoot blanks, according to a letter sent to Palo Alto parents. The student’s name was not made public by the district or police.
Spillman said Tuesday he was aware of the previous incidents.
“It’ a bad trend,” he said. “You can only speculate what the source of it is.” Spillman said the trend is not unique to the Killeen area.
“I don’t think that’s confined to our community,” he said. “It could happen to any student.”
Questions about whether the Killeen school district has taken extra security measures in light of the recent incidents were not directly addressed in Muller’s statement to the Herald.
“The district and Harker Heights High School campus continue to place student and staff safety as a top priority,” Muller said in the statement.
The Copperas Cove Independent School District did not respond to requests for information by presstime.
Contact Chris McGuinness at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.