“On Monday, it was reported to [Austin’s] Westlake administrators that someone wrote ‘Bomb 2/8/17’ on a bathroom wall,” Eanes ISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Tom Leonard writes in an email to parents. “Once we were made aware of the threat, we immediately began working with the Travis County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) and district security to investigate and initiate our safety protocols.” And so . . .

out of an abundance of caution, we are implementing the following proactive efforts to ensure the safety of our students and staff. We will:

– conduct a search with law enforcement and canine units to secure Westlake High School;
– increase law enforcement patrols around Westlake High School;
– maintain an extra adult presence throughout the building

Additionally, “We expect our students to attend school, but also respect that parents have the right to make an informed decision of what is best for their child. Students will not be penalized if parents choose to keep them at home.”

What bothers me the most about this situation: Dr. Leonard’s promise of “extra adult presence throughout the building.” Unarmed extra adults, as per Eanes ISD’s strict adherence to Bush the Elder’s Gun Free School Zone Act.

With certain notable exceptions, in places where teachers and/or parents can exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms (e.g. Utah), American schools are soft targets. Targets that have been attacked, with tremendous loss of life.

The Westlake threat highlights the potential for additional carnage. And it’s not first threat against the High School; a student was tweeting about shooting-up the school (he was arrested). Dr. Leonard’s response is welcome, but doesn’t go far enough.

Meanwhile, do you think I should I take my daughter out of school tomorrow?

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46 Responses to Texas High School Responds to Bomb Threat – Without Armed Teachers

  1. “Meanwhile, do you think I should I take my daughter out of school tomorrow?”

    When was the last time terrorists or even assailants like the ones at Boston, San Bernadino, Columbine, Charleston or Sandy Hook warned of an impending attack to their target?

    Being afraid every time there is a bomb threat is ridiculous. It is super easy to make, it gets a massive response, and 99 times out of 100 (probably higher) the threat is false. Bus, train, school, work site, everything comes to a grinding halt with a simple sentence, and absolutely no corroborating evidence.

    I don’t mean to denigrate people or their concern about these, but I think we need to do something different than respond en masse to every bomb (or other) threat that has almost zero credibility, and apparently almost no precedent in actual outcome.

    • When I was a sophomore our school had a bomb threat. Some stupid kid didn’t want to take his Spanish test. They dismissed school for two days, which is probably a better thing to do. I mean serious terrorists don’t threaten, they just do it without warning. But if some deranged kid threatens it, probably should at least take some extra precautions. I personally, would not let my kid attend.

    • There was a bomb threat to my middle school when i was in 6th grade. they had security checking everything students brought in. lunch bags, backpacks, instrument cases. it took several hours for the all clear

    • Yeah… In 2001-2002, my high school had almost two dozen “bomb threats”… Our principal did not handle it well.

      • When I was in high school a student brought a shotgun to school and left it in the trunk of his car. During lunch he put his book bag in his trunk and drove to lunch when he got back he opened the trunk to retrieve his bag. Another student walked by and saw the shotgun and immediately went to the principal like they should have. What happens next was the school was in lock down. No one was told anything except someone had a gun and or bomb in school. This went on for the next three hours. Well the student went hunting in the morning. The gun never left his trunk. It was a rural district and the car was just outside school property, but at that time I don’t think where he parked mattered. Well he didn’t get arrested after the cops interviewed him.

        • When I was in high school I took a 1903 Springfield and an 1873 Springfield (on different days) to school to show in history class. I carried them openly to my locker and to the history class. Only one member of the faculty even asked me what they were for. I made my presentations and then took them home without incident. That was only 35 about years ago. How much things have changed.

        • Hell, I graduated in 2000 and we all had shot guns and rifles in our cars/truck during hunting seasons. I went to private catholic though.

        • Rifles and shotguns were the norm in vehicles in my high school back in the dark ages of 1998. Then Columbine happened and everything went to shit.

        • Half the students and most of the teachers had a rifle and/or shotgun in their car at the rural WA school I went to back in the 90s. Could see most of them from the classroom windows sitting in the pickup gun racks. It’s been a while since I visited but I’m pretty sure they still do, just not in the pickup windows anymore. The sheriff knows if he enforces WA’s zero tolerance law he will find himself in the unemployment line. Too much daylight to loose if you have to go home for your hunting gear.

  2. Bomb beats gun like rock beats scissors.

    Yes, I’d like to see school districts allow licensed and trained school employees the option to participate in the school’s armed defense plan, but that’s really a separate issue from how to address some threatening graffiti. I think the Superintendent handled this incident just fine.

  3. 1) Guns aren’t useful against bombs. In fact, depending on the type of explosive (and how sensitive it is) guns are probably a bad thing to be using.

    2) The federal guns free school act doesn’t stop schools from arming teachers, staff, etc (it doesn’t even stop carry-permit holders from carrying at schools if the state is okay with it)

    • 1. Bomb attacks are often preludes to gun attacks.
      2. The GFSZA is the national default. A school, city, town, state has to opt out.

      • “2. The GFSZA is the national default. A school, city, town, state has to opt out.”

        A state cannot nullify the law but the exceptions to the law are quite wide- i.e. If you have a permit to carry a pistol issued by the state in which the school exists, the GFSZA does not prohibit you from carrying on school grounds. This requires no ‘opt out’ by the state and applies to anyone, not just teachers or those ‘allowed’ by the school.

      • And yesterday I failed at making a soufflé so I threw a hot pocket in the microwave. That doesn’t mean that every time you see ‘soufflé’ on a menu you should think you’re about to get a hot pocket- which, I may add, is never fully hot unless it has exploded in the microwave.

  4. Like D Y says, terrorists don’t announce their intentions because their intention is to cause the greatest number of casualties. The real ones that do announce usually want a ransom or have some other demand. Absent that, they are usually bogus. I worked school liaison with the PD for a number of years. Most of the time we stopped overtly responding to and publicizing bomb threats other than a fire drill type evacuation and quick search, and they pretty much stopped. Each case must be analyzed on it’s own merits but most of the time it’s kids wanting a day off or just to disrupt the day.

  5. I agree with most of the statements, in general, but I won’t itemize them here. That being said, having guns on campus, just like any other day of normal armed life, only adds another tool if Murphy has it out for you and all the “if’s” have lined up against you. Better to have more adults armed with more than a pen & ID badge if a bomber is discovered.

    Back to the question, I wouldn’t jump at the chance for a free day just because it was offered, but I wonder how hard the self-induced guilt would be to live with should the ultimate ‘if’ harm my daughter.

  6. Robert, I’ve said this before, remove your child from the govt. indoctrination center! Home school! Anyone who wants to is capable of teaching their own child. You will guarantee that they learn, that they can think for themselves and won’t be polluted by the liberal mindset. Plus you will be their armed security! Why would you send your child to be bombarded by liberal thinking which is completely opposite of what you espouse here? Additionally, why would you send her some place where they teach her to disrespect you and your beliefs? I could go on and on but I’ve made my point. Save your child from the brainwashing that she is receiving!

  7. Lots of focus here on how a gun isn’t effective against a bomb… don’t forget that a gun can be very effective against a bomb-er

  8. Yes, you should take your daughter out of Westlake tomorrow, and every day after that. Private school for her. After the Sandyhook shooting several of my kids’ teachers came to my place and learned to shoot. They carry in class.

    • Right, bomb threats and meaningless responses are just the cherry on top of all the reasons I would say take her out of public school. I cannot agree more strongly with the sentiments expressed by JWT above. Why entrust the education of your children to the state? Even in a district like Eanes/Westlake (which was born by rich Austinites trying to avoid de-segregation).
      Kind of surprised considering all you have to say about the state/government yet you have entrusted them with one of the most important parts of your child’s development.
      I’ve put a lot of personal projects aside to put my kids in a private school, it sucks right now, but worth it.

  9. As if a terroristic bomber is going to go into a school building and write that on a bathroom wall.

    A student did it simply to cause a scene.

    Could a student plant a bomb? Sure. Do the majority of HS students have the ability to do so? Highly doubtful.

    I’d like to see the stats on number of reported bomb threats in high schools vs actual incidents of any sort. My guess is it’s less than 0.1%.

    • -.0001% is more likely the stat.

      Back when, say before the adults allowed idiot babyboomers to run anything, the adult in charge of the school would have the janitor clean the wall. When the offender was eventually ID he would quickly figure out what a moron he was. The difference from when WWII vets were the management rather than chicks and metrosexual wimps neither of whom apparently ever develop an BS meter..

  10. As a parent, yes I would keep my child at home. No penalties for doing so and avoiding danger is the first step!

    Ignore all these keyboard warriors

  11. The “beauty” of a bomb threat is that the party doing the threatening doesn’t need a bomb, just a pen, to cause disruption and maybe even panic.

    If a bad person actually wanted to cause death and destruction with a bomb, he wouldn’t warn his targets. He would be stealthy. Westlake H.S. is safe.

  12. Bomb threat = somebody trying to get out of a test or presentation.
    Date painted on wall = the due date.

    Teachers taking it seriously = I need a break from these teenagers

    Kids afraid to go = Ideas for fun alternative plans.

    • There have been multiple times when school killings have occurred after warnings of some sort. Shootings, not bombings, because making working bombs is a lot harder than pulling a trigger, but still. While the vast majority of threats are hoaxes, can you imagine what would happen if one of them wasn’t but nobody acted on it? They’d be strung up by their toes.

      I guess the moral is… bomb hoaxes work.

      • Warnings of some sort? Can you elaborate?

        Obviously most/all of the attackers are either radicals or mentally unstable, and thus exhibit potential signs something bad may happen to those close to them, but in terms of when/where an attack is going to happen, I can’t think of a time when that’s been reported to have been the case.

        I waver on the do nothing/always do something topic, but with the sheer number of hoaxes, and seeming lack of correlation between threats and action, it seems leaning towards minimal/thought out response is the more prudent approach.

      • Yeah yeah hire more police. Pay them more they aren’t paid enough for …….. Lives on the line every day 24/7/365. Never know when………. yada yada yada.

  13. “Meanwhile, do you think I should I take my daughter out of school tomorrow?”

    Yes, and don’t send her back the day after that, either. Putting a kid through public school today is practically child abuse.

    I’m sure you’re trying to do your best to counteract the stupidity and indoctrination the schools try to install in your kid, but eight hours a day of that is quite the tide of bullshit you’re shoveling against.

    Read some of John Taylor Gatto’s writing on the subject of our public school system, and then take a hard look at the alternative options available to you.

  14. I don’t really see what armed teachers or admins would do in this situation. That sort of thing is for the actual psycho that doesn’t warn you of their intentions and shows up on a random day. This sounds like their will likely be a fairly heavy police presence already so I’d say that end of things is covered.

    As for keeping your daughter home from school, go with your gut.

    • So what exactly is it that the popo are going to do that makes a difference ???? Find the ticking alarm clock w/3 stick of dynamite and then call in the bombsquad. Or they going to have a “lockdown” and “secure the perimeter” to keep them (non-mooslem) bumbers out of der skool.

      Theater for the mindless panty-wetters.

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