Parents outraged over school district’s handling of shooting threat

New Mexico

SOCORRO, N.M. (KRQE) – Parents are upset after the district told them that if their kids miss school following a shooting threat, their absences won’t be excused.

“It should be our choice as parents whether to send our kids to school or not,” said Helyn Benavidez.

Thursday morning, Benavidez made the choice to keep her daughter home from middle school because she was concerned for her safety.

“There was a threat at the middle school yesterday,” she said.

However, her daughter’s absence won’t be excused.

“If we reward this kind of behavior by saying, ‘Oh we can let kids out of school every time it happens,’ it’ll just continue,” said Superintendent Ronald Hendrix.

Not only is Benavidez upset over the unexcused absence. She says she’s angry because the threat was made Wednesday but she didn’t find out until Thursday, and it wasn’t through an email or call from the district.

“I found out through my daughter’s friends,” she said.

Superintendent Hendrix says the investigation into the threat didn’t wrap up until after 10 p..m. He says posted to Facebook to alert parents of the situation and waited until Thursday morning to make the calls.

“I didn’t make a call because I knew I’d be blasted all over Facebook if I had made a call past 10 p.m.,” said Hendrix.

Even so, parents on Facebook were not satisfied with the timing, or the policy on absences. Dozens of moms and dads took to social media to express their concerns.

Hendrix says if the threat had been credible, he would have canceled school altogether. The superintendent says the group of students responsible for this scare will be facing charges once the investigation is complete.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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