Sharyland ISD action questioned after reported 'threat' at elementary campus

Alex Murillo

The Murillo sisters know to use the buddy system when walking home from school.

But the two block trek by foot has ended for them for the remainder of the year after their father got word of a potential threat outside Ruben Hinojosa Elementary School in the Sharyland Independent School District.

"Upset," Alex Murillo said. "Frustrated."

Alex can't understand why he had to learn about a suspicious person allegedly taking pictures of students just off school property from his own children and not from school administrators.

"We as parents, we of course want to watch out for our children," he said. "The school system has emergency alerts in place. And for something like this to come into play, they could have at least notified us."

Superintendent Dr. Virginia Richter says parents were never notified because the threat was never substantiated.

But the district did take action.

The superintendent says once a parent sounded the alarm by contacting them, school administrators immediately turned to the Mission Police Department.

"They did send extra patrol," Dr. Richter said. "They sent them both in marked vehicles and unmarked vehicles at different times of the day and there was no one found."

The staff at school has remained extra vigilant, and a district security guard was added during the investigation, according to the superintendent.

Dr. Richter felt parents did not need to be notified.

"In this particular instance, since there was nothing, we got the police involved immediately and there was nothing substantiated... I felt no need to create a panic with our parents," she said.

It's a decision at least one school father disagrees with.

"I don't want to wait until it's too late," Alex said. "I don't want to wait for somebody to get kidnapped. I don't want to wait for somebody to be molested on the way home."

Whether it was a real threat or not, Alex says his two children won't be walking home from school anymore.

The district maintains student safety is priority number one.

A Mission police department spokesperson has not yet returned a call from Action 4 News for a comment.

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