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Aldine ISD Police arrest student for Instagram threats

HOUSTON, TX, September 26, 2018 — Aldine ISD Police arrested an Aldine Middle School student for posting threats on social media against a campus administrator on Wednesday, September 25, 2018. The Harris County District Attorney’s Office has filed a charge of felony terroristic threat against the student.

Late Tuesday, September 24, Aldine ISD Police received information that an individual was using Instagram to issue threats towards an administrator at Aldine Middle School. During their investigation the next day, Aldine ISD Police officers discovered information which led them to a student who was interviewed about the posts. The officers also found evidence that the threats originated from the student’s cell phone.

“I want to commend our district’s police officers for their quick action and for bringing this situation to a swift conclusion,” said Aldine ISD Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney. “Aldine ISD will not tolerate any threats made against any Aldine ISD school or individual. We will work with law enforcement officers and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office to prosecute offenders to the fullest extent of the law.”

“Parents, I implore you to talk to your children and remind them that their actions can have serious consequences,” Dr. Goffney said. “Aldine ISD will continue to make the safety and security of our students and staff our top priority.”

Recently, the Houston FBI office held a press conference addressing threats and hoax threats. They provided the following information of the consequences individuals face when they make threats on social media. That information includes:

• Making hoax threats directed at schools is a serious criminal action that has potentially dangerous consequences. Hoax threats are not a joke. They have ramifications for both first responders and those who issue the threats.

• Hoax threats are dangerous to first responders and to the victims because it is not always immediately clear whether it is a hoax and the motivation behind posting the threat.

• It is imperative that the community remain engaged in identifying and informing law enforcement of any concerns with specific individuals.

• There are a multitude of reasons people make hoax threats, but there is always a possibility that there is true intention behind the threat, and law enforcement must investigate the origin of the threat to determine the credibility.

• Hoax threat investigations are expensive and cost taxpayers a lot of money. Although there are no national statistics on how many of these threats are made annually, the FBI estimates there are thousands.

• Hoax threats are taken seriously by law enforcement and prosecutors, as seen by the two arrests made this week within the Aldine school district.

• Public assistance is crucial to our efforts to curb these hoax threats. We ask that the public continue to contact law enforcement to report any potential threats or suspicious activity. If there is any reason to believe the safety of others is at risk, we ask that the public immediately reach out to their local police department by calling 911.

• Students are reminded that if they see or hear of a threat, they should report it to law enforcement immediately. Notify authorities but don’t share or forward the threat until law enforcement has had a chance to investigate—this can spread misinformation and cause panic.

“Again, I want to reiterate that Aldine ISD takes these types of matters very seriously and will not tolerate this type of behavior,” Dr. Goffney said. “I also want to thank the other local law enforcement agencies who assist in cases like this.”