MERKEL, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A 12-year-old student accused of causing a false alert about a shooter at Merkel Middle School has been arrested.
This student was taken into custody after the alert was sent via a notification app the district uses around 12:22 p.m. Wednesday, saying there was an armed individual in a classroom on campus.
Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to the threat, learning it was false and that a student had sent the alert through an ISD computer.
The student is now facing felony charges for Terroristic Threat.
District Officials released the following statement in response to this incident:
“In response to a false claim regarding a student carrying a firearm at Merkel
Middle School, a thorough investigation was conducted by local law enforcement
and school authorities. The investigation resulted in the arrest of a child with
charges of making a terroristic threat in a school environment.
A report was made by a student who falsely claimed the presence of an armed
individual within the premises of Merkel Middle School. The safety of our
students and staff is of utmost importance, and immediate action was taken to
address the situation. The school promptly implemented its safety protocols,
ensuring the protection and well-being of all individuals present.
Upon receiving the school lockdown alerts, local law enforcement (Merkel PD,
Tye PD, and Taylor County Sheriff’s Office) responded within minutes and began
a close collaboration with the school administration to conduct a comprehensive
Through diligent efforts, it was determined that the claim made by the child was
false and caused panic and disruption within the school community.
Subsequently, the individual responsible for making the false claim was
apprehended and is now facing charges of making a terroristic threat in a school
setting. Law enforcement agencies will continue to handle the legal proceedings
Merkel ISD would like to emphasize its commitment to maintaining a safe and
secure learning environment for all students and staff members. School
administrators and staff worked collaboratively with law enforcement throughout
the investigation, displaying professionalism and dedication to ensuring the
safety of everyone involved. The incident serves as a reminder of the importance
of responsible reporting and the potential consequences of spreading false
information, particularly in matters pertaining to school safety.
MISD encourages open lines of communication between students, parents, and
school staff to report any potential safety concerns promptly. It is crucial to
reinforce the message that such actions have severe consequences and will be
dealt with accordingly to maintain a secure environment conducive to learning.
Merkel ISD expresses gratitude to its administration and Merkel PD, Tye PD, and
Taylor County Sheriff’s Office for their swift and thorough response to this
incident. The partnership between the school and the community remains
steadfast in preserving the safety and well-being of our students.”
No further information has been released.