Parents are terrified and authorities are on high alert after black students at a Texas middle school all received the same threatening, racist text messages at the exact same time on Monday.
“It went from phone to phone to phone,” said Seven Lakes Junior High eighth grader Joy Smith to KTRK, an ABC station out of Houston, Texas. “When everybody got it they started looking up at each other … I looked across the room and there was a table of black boys and they were looking at their phones, too.”
The messages were sent from two unknown numbers, according to the Houston Chronicle. While the exact content of the two messages have not been released, KTRK reports that the texts contained the N-word and threats of violence.
The Katy Independent School District’s police department has launched an investigation into the situation, according to a statement from Katy ISD. As an added precaution, they will increase police presence on campus until the end of the school year.
A number of parents rushed to the school to pick up their children, some of whom were in tears.
“I walked in and I saw so many girls crying, that literally broke me down,” parent Monique Lyons told KTRK.
Adding to parents’ anxiety is the fact that Seven Lakes Junior High is located just 60 miles from Santa Fe High School, where 10 people were killed a week ago. The anonymous texter’s access to students’ phone numbers is also troubling to parents.
“How do you have the phone numbers of a large group of people? If you’re capable of obtaining that information who knows what else is compromised and who knows what else you are capable of doing?” questioned parent Danecia Stewart in an interview with KTRK/CNN.
Parents, students, staff, and community members met at Seven Lakes on Tuesday as a show of solidarity and to pray for the community, according to local news source Covering Katy.
[Photo: Stock photo of teenage girl using smart phone. By Maskot, via Getty Images]