A day after two students were arrested at Northwest High School, teens and parents became alarmed by a social media threat that promised to hurt people during lunch.
"Get ready for the shooting I'm coming during lunch," read a message that circulated Wednesday. "I'm killing "ALL OF YALL."
That message prompted one 18-year-old senior, who didn't want her name published, to call her mother. The teen just wanted to go home.
"It's scary because you don't know what kids could be doing," said the 18-year-old, who stayed home from school Thursday.
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Northwest schools sent a letter to parents Thursday explaining that it is handling threats.
"Both Northwest High School and Eaton High School were targets of these threats, and we think these were sent by the same individual," said Ryder Warren, superintendent of Northwest schools, in a letter sent to parents Thursday. "We do NOT believe these are credible threats to the schools."
Still, some Northwest and Eaton parents kept their children home.
The 18-year-old Northwest student's mother said many families want to be reassured that their schools are safe.
"I could never have dreamt of this when I was in high school," the mother said. "It is so bad for these kids. They should never have to fear going to school to get an education."
In an attempt to quell worries, Warren told parents that he sent his son to school.
"Please know that my son is sitting in a Eaton classroom right now, and that is where he is going to stay," Warren said. "I feel, as a parent, he is very safe where he is."
Students who were kept home Thursday due to the threats will get an unexcused absence, according to the school district. Students who were taken out of classes early Wednesday also face unexcused absence from those classes.
Tuesday, two Northwest High School students were arrested for allegedly having a handgun on campus after two classmates reported a questionable picture being posted on social media, according to police. Fort Worth police arrested one juvenile and 17-year-old Juan Alfredo Cortez.
Cortez allegedly was going to purchase the handgun from the juvenile, said officer Jimmy Pollozani, a spokesman for Fort Worth police. The arrests came after students alerted school leaders about a picture on Instagram.
The case will be sent to the district attorney's office for review, Pollozani said.
Since the arrests, police and school district leaders are investigating the threat that moved through the community Wednesday.
"The students involved with the weapon at Northwest High School were detained and were removed from the campus," Warren said. "Over the last two days, we have been tracking down threats made on social media."
There is also additional police presence at the two high schools.
Police are on high alert to respond to any threats, Pollozani said, adding that school resource officers, patrol officers and neighborhood police officers are working closely to improve and enhance school security and safety.
The Northwest schools are part of a sprawling district that includes portions of Denton, Tarrant and Wise counties. The district has three comprehensive high schools, including Northwest and Eaton. There are about 10,500 students in the district.
This report contains material from the Star-Telegram archives.