FORNEY, Texas — Police are investigating claims of threats being made in connection with reports of a firearm being discovered in a North Forney High School student's backpack yesterday.
The firearm, later determined to be a "toy" gun, was confiscated and the student was immediately removed from campus. As of Wednesday afternoon, no criminal charges had been filed.
In an email to parents yesterday, North Forney High School Principal Michael Jung says no threats were made in connection with the toy gun's discovery, which the Kaufman County Sheriff's Office confirmed.
inForney.com spoke with two parents Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning who say their students refute those claims — the mere discovery of the toy gun by a North Forney High School teacher was made after a student reported seeing the gun in another student's backpack and the student claiming he was going to "shoot kids."
The student who reported the gun was asked to write two statements — one of which was given to a North Forney High School campus administrator and the other to a Kaufman County Sheriff's Office School Resource Officer (SRO). Those statements also included a threat of physical violence the student received after it was discovered he reported the incident to a teacher.
A mother received a text message from her child, a student at North Forney High School, that read, "mom [redacted] some kid brought a gun to school."
The mother, speaking to inForney.com, says the school didn't notify her of the incident or that her son was brought to the office to fill out written statements. When she did arrive at the school, she says was assured by campus administrators and SROs that they were taking the matter seriously and criminal charges would be pursued as if the incident involved a real gun.
Not long after leaving the campus with her student, she received Jung's email to parents.
"For the school to make so light of this situation is hard to grasp," she told inForney.com. "I was assured yesterday it would be taken care of but, that's not the case."
No criminal charges were pursued, nor were pending at the time of Jung's email release, this according to the Kaufman County Sheriff's Department at the time, citing available information from the SROs.
This afternoon, Forney Independent School District Executive Director of Marketing and Communications Kristin Zastoupil says the district is continuing to investigate the incident and are taking the matter seriously, whether or not it was a toy. She says the district has taken all the steps it could in the matter, given that no criminal charges have been filed, and have removed the student from campus pending investigation by the Kaufman County Sheriff's Office.
Kaufman County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Jolie Stewart says an investigator was assigned to assist in the case earlier today.
Less than two months ago, a Terrell High School student was arrested for threatening to exhibit a firearm on campus, a third-degree felony. In that case, no firearm was present and police say the student's actions — gesturing, reaching in, and acting like he was going to pull a gun from his backpack — were enough to warrant a criminal offense.
Three weeks ago, a Crandall ISD student was arrested for making threats on social media and charged with terroristic threat.
Earlier today, in Frisco, a student exhibited a BB gun on a school bus. He, too, was arrested and charged with exhibiting a firearm.
While interviewing both sets of parents and students for this story, both tell inForney.com they were contacted by, or sat down with Kaufman County Sheriff's Office investigators seeking additional information and statements in connection with the incident.
Both the Forney Independent School District and the Kaufman County Sheriff's Office are asking any students who had a firsthand account of the incident to report it to police.
inForney.com will continue to provide updates on this story as they develop.