More than six months after a rash of bomb threats shut down school for students, the Copperas Cove Independent School District is asking for feedback from students, parents, staff and the community in an online survey.
The survey, which is available at ccisd.com, features 24 questions and asks participants to rate the district’s response to the threats in areas such as effectiveness, how well the situation was communicated and their approval of the overall handling of the threats.
“By providing feedback, you can help CCISD and other school districts respond effectively and appropriately to future incidents,” the survey introduction reads.
The survey does not ask participants for personal information, but does ask them to categorize themselves as parents, teachers, CCISD staff, district administrators, students, first responders, law enforcement or Copperas Cove residents with no children in school.
The survey is being conducted by the district in partnership with Texas A&M University-Central Texas professor Coady Lapierre.
“We approached the district with the idea of conducting the survey,” said Lapierre, an associate professor with the university’s school of psychology and a Cove resident and parent. “Hopefully (Cove) and other school districts will be able to benefit from the findings.”
In December, the Cove district experienced 12 bomb threats at its high school and two junior high schools, forcing the campuses to endure multiple evacuations and school-day cancellations.
The threats disrupted classes and cost the district more than $200,000, forcing it to shut down schools for three days. Copperas Cove police detained nine Cove teens, and all were charged with making terroristic threats.
When district campuses reopened their doors, students and staff returned to school with heavily increased security measures, including the use of metal detectors, search dogs, more security personnel and additional surveillance cameras.
“The survey is not only asking people if they thought the response to the threats was effective, but asks how acceptable those responses were,” Lapierre said. “For example, if you strip, searched every person who came into the school, it may be effective, but it wouldn’t be very acceptable.”
Lapierre said the survey has gotten more than 400 responses so far, and will likely run for at least another month.