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Salado ISD responds after rumors of shooting threat circulate

Posted at 7:20 PM, May 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-15 20:20:21-04

SALADO, Texas — Some Salado ISD parents chose to keep their students at home on Monday, and are calling for transparency over confusion about rumors of a threat of violence.

On Monday, the district clarified that the rumor in question was unfounded and was based on an investigation that was conducted last week.

Superintendent Michael Novotny said it all started after a middle school student made a "concerning" comment last Monday. The district immediately investigated and found no credible threat.

Later in the week, through social media and word-of-mouth, students and parents became concerned over alleged threats of violence, involving a middle school student with a "hit list" and a weapon. Some parents told 25 News they decided to pull their students out of school early on Friday.

One of those parents was Chris Coffey, with three students in the district.

"You're scared for your kids. You don't know what's going on," Coffey said.

The rumors, according to the district, were unfounded. Still, parents did not receive a letter declaring the rumors as "misinformation" until Saturday.

Parents are demanding more communication and transparency from the district.

"The transparency from the school district needs to be more open," Coffey said.

"If it was a joke, or if it was just a miscommunication, tell us."

Novotny said since the threat was not credible, it chose not to notify students or families.

The district is now re-assessing how it addresses communication of threats moving forward.

"The situation was exaggerated way beyond what actually happened," Novotny said.

"That created more panic and unfortunately, in hindsight, we should have sent something out sooner to prevent that from happening."

Many parents planned to attend Monday night's school board meeting to address their concerns with the board.