Killeen: Officials talk school threats and social media at meeting

HARKER HEIGHTS, Texas (KWTX) Inside Harker Heights High School auditorium Thursday night, Killeen ISD officials talked to parents and community leaders about an issue across the district: students making terroristic threats.

Topics such as students sending explicit messages -- which can be a crime under Texas law -- and popular apps that could be a gateway for sexual predators were also addressed.

“The more that we expose parents and administration and students, as you saw tonight, to what happens when cyber-bullying or getting threatening messages or threating other individuals and what are the consequences associated," Deputy Superintendent Eric Penrod said.

Those consequences include possible jail time and other legal issues. As we've reported in recent weeks, students have been arrested for making terroristic threats. So far, 11 threats have been made.

“I think everything we do have an impact and has an action and consequence. Anytime you are threatening or positioning yourself to be in a threatening manner, the district, the state and local authorities are going to be there. We’re going to do everything we can to protect our children," Penrod said.

Students have been warned that there will be consequences. Keiahna Monroe is a student at Union Grove Middle School.

The meeting also a learning lesson.

"I need to watch what I send and who I sent it to and be careful about what I look at and take pictures of," she said.

District officials encourage parents to talk to their children and report anything suspicious.

“It’s vital for your parent to be engaged in a daily conversation (with) your child. If that means looking at their cell phones, then look at their cell phones.”

Starting Monday, KISD leaders will hold meetings with middle and high school students. Guidance counselors will talk to elementary school students on a grade-by-grade level.