Teacher Allows Students to Bring Fake Weapons; Texas Teen Now Facing Terrorism Charges

April 8, 2019 Updated: April 8, 2019

A 17-year-old boy has been arrested on terrorism charges after he brought a fake gun on campus with the permission of his teacher.

Juan Valdez, a senior at Hidalgo Early College High School in Texas, said he was working on a school project for a forensic science class, CBS4 reported on April 4.

In the class, one assignment allowed him and his classmates to investigate a fake crime scene.

Teacher asks students to bring fake weapons: Student now facing terrorism charges>>…

Posted by CBS 4 News Rio Grande Valley on Thursday, April 4, 2019

According to the report, his teacher allowed possible evidence for students to bring, including a fake gun, bullets, bones, glass, or something else.

Valdez said he brought his paintball gun, CBS4 reported. “My teacher said, yes, that’s fine,” he said of what his teacher told him.

But on March 28, Valdez walked into the school with his paintball gun and other pieces of evidence. He took a Snapchat video and posted a caption saying the gun is fake for a class project, the CBS affiliate reported.

One of Valdez’s classes was interrupted, and school officials brought him into the principal’s office.

I think the missing links here were to let the #police officer on campus and the principle know ahead of time. This is…

Posted by Sound Training Services on Saturday, April 6, 2019

“They had me write a statement explaining what the gun was for, but they wouldn’t let me talk too much or call my mom,” he told Yahoo News, adding that officials “took my phone, too.”

According to Valdez, a classmate saw his Snapchat video and alerted the authorities, according to the CBS report.

Valdez said the gun wasn’t a problem, but the issue was the video and the threats. According to Yahoo, another classmate edited his Snapchat photo to say, “We have a school shooter, everyone be safe!”

“An officer said to me, ‘You shouldn’t have made those threats,’” Valdez told CBS4. “I didn’t know what he was talking about.”

On April 4, he was booked into the Hidalgo County jail and was charged with making a terrorist threat.

The father of the teen told the CBS affiliate that the student who allegedly edited the video issued an apology on Facebook. “Yes, it was my fault. Sorry for what I did. I didn’t expect it to get as big as it did,” the boy allegedly said.

“Appropriate administrative action was taken against the teacher,” said Jennifer Villareal, a school district spokeswoman, was quoted by CBS4 as saying.

Valdez and the student who edited the video were suspended for two days each.

But before he can enter the school, Valdez said he has to undergo 15 days of specialized training.

“It’s strict there—you have to ask permission to speak,” he said of the class. “I am super worried about my future because I want to be a state trooper one day,” Valdez added to Yahoo News. “Being in jail took a toll on me.”

School Removes Bathroom Doors

In another unusual school-related incident, one district removed the doors to bathrooms after a note containing a terrorist threat was allegedly found.

After a note detailing the threat was discovered in the bathroom at Beardstown High School, officials removed the doors, outraging parents and students, reported Yahoo News.

School district removes doors from bathroom stalls, girls allegedly forced to bring blankets from home for privacy

Posted by Sunny 101.5 on Sunday, April 7, 2019

“Mostly girls have been bringing blankets from their house and hanging it up in the stalls so people can’t see them… Yesterday people started putting their shoes and boots in front of the stall so people would know they’re in the bathroom,” Juan Juarez, a Beardstown High School student, was quoted as saying by the news outlet.

School district officials said it’s for students’ safety.

“You have to understand when kids have a place to spend time, whether it’s a minute or 5 minutes sometimes things happen whether it’s good, bad, or otherwise,” Beardstown Superintendent Ron Gilbert said. “It has helped limit some of the things that were taking place.”

“Restrooms are for one purpose only,” Gilbert told the State Journal-Register. “We understand everyone’s concerns. We’re not going to put people in situations that are harmful to anyone.”

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