Odessa, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – Amanda Provence recently learned her son was involved in a fight at Nimitz Middle School, and that the student her son fought with eventually said he’d get a gun and shoot her son.
She doesn’t have a problem with the school getting ECISD police involved, but thinks solutions to the recent bout of school threats start at home.
“Getting into a disagreement in PE is not a reason to shoot somebody. I think that parents have to do a better job at making their kids understand that weapons are not something that are flippant,” said Provence.
ECISD Assistant Police Chief Jeff Daniels agrees with that line of thinking.
“Have those conversations with your students at home on what’s appropriate and what’s not appropriate. A lot of these things can be stopped at home rather than continuing on into our educational environment,” said Asst. Chief Daniels.
But Amanda says West Texas parents and guardians can do more than just talk to their kids.
She runs a Facebook group that’s against local bullying and is looking to evolve it into an organization that also works to prevent threats on campus. Amanda envisions a group similar to Bowie Middle School’s F.R.O.G. program where adults can volunteer their time to defuse fights and listen to students who may be struggling at school or at home.
“I think if there’s an adult nearby, whether it’s a teacher or not, it’s going to defer more students from fighting… so I think having those volunteers to hold space where teachers cannot, could help bring that number down too,” said Provence.
The Ector County School District says it doesn’t know why local students keep making concerning threats, but wants to reiterate, educators take all threats seriously, investigate them all, and will make sure the students who make them are criminally charged.