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IMMINENT WARNING: INCREASED LAW ENFORCEMENT PRESENCE AT CALCASIEU SCHOOLS

August 21, 2023

Hae Lim Park, Kyle Dillon, Christine Saddy

Cameron Munoz, Senior Editor


Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana[1]


Event: A 15-year-old LaGrange High School student was arrested on August 21, 2023, for stating several threats toward Calcasieu Parish schools on social media. The schools involved in this threat incident include Barbe High School, LaGrange High School, Washington Marion High School, Oak Park Middle School, Oak Park Elementary School, and Brentwood Elementary School. According to the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office, he was ordered into the Juvenile Detention Center on seven counts of terrorizing. Additional law enforcement will be present at multiple schools this week. There is no ongoing threat to any school in Calcasieu Parish; however, each threat is being thoroughly investigated by law enforcement. Parents and students are reminded that any person making threatening comments or actions toward any school will be punished by law enforcement and disciplinary action by the school.[2]


Significance: Threats starting at the beginning of the school year will almost certainly create fear of going to school among students and teachers and disrupt students' and parents' daily activities. This event will likely cause distress within the community, leading to false alarm reports to law enforcement. The high number of reports will likely hinder investigative efficiency, creating a need to assess and predict which threat is credible. Social media threats are very likely to encourage copycat threats and other like-minded people to attack schools. Law enforcement will likely monitor students’ social media for hate messages and extreme posts regarding school violence. There is a roughly even chance that individuals might fabricate threats directed at their targets to cause chaos and disrupt emergency response times and safety protocols. Schools will likely heighten security measures to prevent attacks by placing more security guards throughout schools, installing metal detectors at entrances, and conducting random checks on students’ belongings. These potential heightened security measures will likely receive backlash from parents and students, likely causing protests and division between the school and students and parents.


Recommendations

  • The Counterterrorism Group (CTG) recommends that all schools in Calcasieu Parish take proactive security measures toward preventing future attacks, including strengthening relations with law enforcement.

  • CTG recommends that school boards and law enforcement establish a method of information sharing with parents and families to properly warn them of dangerous threats.

  • CTG recommends that local law enforcement monitor social media accounts and posts to determine if this student was organizing these threats alone.

  • CTG recommends that schools in Calcasieu Parish organize debriefing sessions to ease the minds of students and parents impacted by the threats.

  • CTG recommends that law enforcement investigate the possible motives for these threats to use this information to better prepare for future threats or attacks.

  • If there is any additional and or critical information, please contact us at The Counterterrorism Group (CTG) by Telephone at 202-643-2848 or email at info@counterterrorismgroup.com.

 

[2] Teen arrested at LaGrange High in connection with school threats, 7 KPLC News, August 2023, https://www.kplctv.com/2023/08/21/additional-law-enforcement-be-present-calcasieu-schools-following-threats/

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