BEAUMONT — What was supposed to be a fun night at the first school dance quickly turned into panic for many students at Marshall Middle School.
At the end of the dance on Friday one student alleged that another student brandished a weapon. The district immediately investigated the situation and had an officer on site who was able to respond immediately. Shannon Allen, Associate Superintendent of secondary schools, says a rumor circulated that there was a shooting that took place but Beaumont Police said no shots were fired.
“It is still under investigation. There was no active shooter. No shots were fired. That report was false that was circulating on Friday. Our responsibility is to ensure that we have accurate information," Allen said.
Allen says that all staff has gone through necessary active shooter training and knew what to do had it come to that.
"We truly regret this incident occurred. We focus each day to ensure our students are safe and secure attending school and after school events so that's our number one goal," Allen said.
One mother received a phone call from a friend saying the dance was ending early due to an incident and she needed to pick up her daughter as soon as possible.
"When I arrived at Marshall I see parents running and I hear a guy say 'there is someone in the gym with a gun,'" Otisha Williams said.
Williams said when she got to the school she was surprised at how relaxed everyone was.
“Marshall in the last month has not had a good reputation due to the fights that were reported. If you had this many fights and it is proven that you had this many fights where was the security at when the dance was going on. 1 or 2 police.... no," Williams said. "We know that kids when they are not in school are going to be kids. So I feel like there should’ve been more security. Even when the dance was over with. For me to just walk in the gym. Get my daughter. With nobody saying who’s your daughter... calling her to the front.“
After seeing the scene herself, Williams said she was surprised to see the statement Beaumont ISD released regarding the incident.
“I came home after everything. Took about an hour to calm my daughter down. The I read this statement about false accusations. Not understanding it because it can’t be too false... because you have not just my two but you have several children that are hysterical,” Williams said.
Now she says her daughter is scared to go to school but it is now something she hopes her daughter will understand. Things like an active shooting can happen at any time.
"Like I explained to my daughter when this happened... I'm not laughing at it. It's not funny but this life. This can happen. In the event that this does happen again, what are they going to do? Because this isn't something that happens every now and then... this is starting to happen every week," Williams said.
Shannon Allen said Beaumont ISD Police is still interviewing possible witnesses. Anyone with information regarding the incident should contact BISD Police at (409) 617-7001 or Southeast Texas Crime Stoppers at (409) 833-TIPS.
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