Two threats at Ascension high schools 'not taken lightly'

Greg Fischer Editor-in-chief

Both East Ascension and Dutchtown High School faced their own level of threat this week. Gonzales Police arrested one male student from EAHS, while the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office is working out the details with officials in Texas for a former Dutchtown student's threat on social media.

Gonzales Police (GPD) sent out a press release saying that on Friday morning, February 16, they received information regarding a potential threat on the campus of East Ascension High School.

The male juvenile who made the threat was removed from campus, arrested, and charged by the City of Gonzales Police Department for Terrorizing. He was ultimately transported to the St. Bernard Parish Juvenile Detention Center. EAHS was not put on any sort of lockdown, but the threat was taken seriously, especially after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla. last week.

The GPD press release further stated: "Due to incidents throughout the country recently, our City of Gonzales Police Department presence has been increased throughout all City of Gonzales schools. Protecting students, faculty, staff and administration throughout our area is a priority for our department. We ask that you be comforted in knowing that this matter is being handled swiftly and correctly, and that no threat is currently posed to anyone at East Ascension High School."

Moreover, GPD Chief Sherman Jackson stated that no weapon was found on campus. EAHS Principal Traci S. McCorkle communicated via e-mail to parents and the media throughout the day.

Then on Monday, February 19, Superintendent David Alexander said in a statement that according to APSO Chief Deputy Bobby Webre, a former Dutchtown High School student and their parents were contacted by law enforcement officials in the state of Texas where they reside for a separate investigation.

"We do not have reason to believe there is imminent danger to Dutchtown High School or any of our schools," Alexander said. "The Sheriff’s Office will continue its investigation and is confident that our schools will be well protected each day, and students will remain safe."

No violence ever took place, but teachers and students are urged to watch their children. Listen for those in distress or making threats. While the statistics are noted by the Washington Post this week to be slightly misleading, the organization Everytown has reported 290 school shootings since 2013, or nearly once-a-week.