A 12-year-old student has been taken to a juvenile facility after the student was found at school with a threatening note, officials say.
Spurger school officials contacted the Tyler County Sheriff's Office once the note was discovered. Deputies conducted an initial investigation, then took the student to a juvenile facility in Kountze.
Spurger Superintendent Jeff Fisher said the student will not be permitted to return to school pending a thorough investigation of the incident.
Fisher says parents were notified about the incident through an automated caller system Thursday evening once the district had enough information.
"I really want to commend the students and staff and administration. They handled it quickly professionally and faithfully, executing plans in place to a T. (The) County was quick to respond. Plans in place worked perfectly," said Fisher.
The Tyler County Sheriff's Office issued the following news release late Thursday morning:
On December 19th, 2012, Tyler County Sheriff's Office (TCSO) deputies were dispatched to the Spurger High School in reference to a possible terroristic threat against other students in the form of a handwritten note by another student. Once on campus, deputies met with Principal Brandon Shumake, who advised deputies that the 'threatening note' was seen in the possession of a student by a faculty member. Principal Shumake told deputies that the 'threatening note' was located in the immediate area of the student's desk. Deputies also observed other notes written in the student's notebook which matched the writing on the threatening note. Deputies were told by Principal Shumake that the student admitted to writing another note on a piece of paper in which the edges aligned with the threatening note. The student was taken into custody by deputies and transported to TCSO's juvenile holding area without incident. The student admitted to juvenile authorities that he wrote the note but did not mean any real harm and it was a joke. The student was then transported to a juvenile detention facility after being charged with "Terroristic Threat" by the Sheriff's Office.
Regardless of the terrible tragedy that took place in Connecticut last week, the Sheriff's Office has always taken serious any terroristic threats at our local schools, and this incident will be treated no differently. We are very appreciative of Spurger ISD officials quick response to this incident, and they should be commended for their swift action and obvious safety first mentality in regards to their students and faculty.