UPDATE: Cathedral High School Officials Release More Information About Meme Threat
Yesterday, the news that Cathedral High School would be on heightened alert today because of a "threatening" text message had parents at the westside school on edge. There were also a lot of questions as to why the student who was responsible for the meme hadn't been arrested for the threat. Wednesday morning, Cathedral officials and the Diocese of El Paso released a statement about the situation. It read, in full:
On Nov. 3, a Cathedral High School sophomore shared a social media meme with what’s believed to be about two-dozen students. The meme warned students not to attend school today. Administrators were alerted to the text and immediately made contact with the student and his parents. The student was prevented from attending school today and as of this morning no decision has been made on what disciplinary action will be taken against him. Additionally, administration notified its own security company as well as the El Paso Police to request a stronger police presence that will continue through the week. Lastly, the school reached out to parents, staff and faculty to share these steps and reassure the community that the school was aware of the situation and had taken assertive safety steps.
The El Paso Police met with the student and notified administrators that the alleged threat is considered non-terroristic. As such, the student has not been charged.
In this day and age, threats need to be taken seriously, which is what Cathedral officials did when they notified EPPD. An investigation by the Department determined that there was not enough evidence to charge the student. Instead of saying, "Wow, way to overreact, Cathedral," we should use this incident as a way to talk to our kids about consequences.
On our show, we are constantly harping on the fact that if you put something out there on social media, or in a text in this case, it never really goes away. Someone will take a screenshot and either report you, or wait to get you in trouble somewhere down the line. I'm not saying that kids will listen, but we should still take the time to bring this story to their attention. It's our job as parents to teach our kids about how to move about in the world. Just because those words of wisdom might not be heeded doesn't mean they shouldn't be spoken. We are not doing our job as parents if we say, 'they never listen so why bother?'
I'm glad Cathedral took the action it did. I would rather hear, 'the threat wasn't as serious as it appeared initially', than, 'several people knew of the threat before the tragedy occurred, but no one did anything about it.'
Good call, Cathedral.