COPPERAS COVE — Despite beefed-up security, bomb threats continue to plague Copperas Cove for the third week in a row.
The district experienced two more bomb threats at Copperas Cove Junior High School this week, according to a statement released Tuesday afternoon by the Copperas Cove Police Department.
The new incidents bring the total number of threats — some of them scrawled on bathroom walls — to 11. The threats began in early December.
The first threat this week occurred at 10:26 a.m. Monday, a police news release stated. Police then responded to a second bomb threat at 7:28 a.m. Tuesday. A 14-year-old boy was detained by police in connection with Tuesday’s threat, as well as one that occurred Dec. 11.
In both incidents this week, no students were evacuated and parents were not informed of the incidents. Olga Peña, the school district spokeswoman, said this was because both threats were determined to be hoaxes.
“We were not even considering evacuation because the building had been secured, and all students had been searched before entering,” she said.
Peña also said the threat found Monday seemed to have been “left over” from the previous week.
Hoax or not, Cove Junior High School parent Kelly Burnett said she wished the district would have informed parents about the threats.
“I really think they should have made us aware of what happened,” Burnett said. “Even if they are hoaxes, it’s about my child’s life being in danger.”
Monday’s and Tuesday’s incidents occurred after Cove students resumed classes, which were canceled at all campuses from Dec. 12 through Friday because of the previous slew of threats.
Students returned Monday morning to schools with increased security. While the district declined to release specific changes to security at campuses, sources reported the use of metal detectors, dogs, searches of people and belongings as well as an increased presence of law enforcement and roving patrols at the schools.
Those measures appeared to cause delays for students like Ayshia Young, who said it took some students at Copperas Cove High School nearly three hours just to get in the doors Monday.
“It’s rough enough not being able to feel safe in school, but even with the safety equipment it’s not fair having to waste almost three hours just trying to get into school,” Young said. “It’s a hassle and just too much to deal with, honestly.”
Burnett said her daughter and other students were feeling frustrated with the situation.
“They are fed up with it, and many of them are scared,” Burnett said.
While the new security measures may be tough for some students, it does not appear they will cease any time soon. Peña said the new procedures would remain in effect indefinitely.
Beginning today, the district will end the school day two hours early at all campuses for the remainder of the week.
Police continue to investigate the threats and have detained nine juveniles so far.
Contact Chris McGuinness at email@example.com or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.