Gun found at Callisburg Middle School; parents wanting answers

By: Morgan Downing Email
By: Morgan Downing Email

CALLISBURG, TX -- A 13-year-old is in police custody after authorities say they found a weapon in the boy's possesion at Callisburg Middle School Tuesday. But officials say the school was never put on lock down. Morgan Downing spoke with the superintendent to find out why, and with parents who are upset at the school's actions..

Cooke County Sheriff Terry Gilbert says the weapon was found during a tobacco search, and once found, he says that student was taken into police custody immediately.

Superintendent Steve Clugston says there was no imminent danger to other students. So, he notified parents by Facebook nine hours later. But parents are speaking out -- calling the situation unacceptable.

"Kids were texting parents. Kids were calling parents. Some were facebooking parents saying 'come get me I'm scared'. And when people called the school they weren't getting information," parent Paula Sage said.

Paula Sage and several other parents whose children attend Callisburg ISD are frustrated with the communication between school administrators and parents.

Superintendent Steve Clugston says just before 2 p.m. Tuesday, a 13-year-old male student was found in possession of a gun. Clugston says the gun was seized immediately and the sheriff's office was notified. During the chaos, parents say they were only hearing bits and pieces of the story, so they called the school for answers.

"I did call the school to ask and I was told that there was absolutely no truth to it," Ronda Odneal said.

"The kids are fine. We're not on lockdown and there's nothing going on. And then we find out later that yeah there is something going on," Cherry Beaver said.

Around 11:00 Tuesday night, about nine hours later, the superintendent posted this update on the Callisburg ISD Facebook page. It reads: "there was no threat of imminent harm since the weapon was immediately seized".

"The least you can do is give us an all call. We have this fancy system that's an all call, and you tell us about football games and you remind us to come. But you won't tell us if we've got police on campus and things are happening," Sage said.

Clugston says he made that automated phone call to all parents around 7:00 Wednesday morning. But parents say those notifications came way too late.

"He should have gotten on that phone system and let all of us know what was going on at the time it happened," Leslie Shaffer said.

Clugston declined an on-camera interview, but says he was busy dealing with the situation and that he made the notifications as soon as he could.

He says the school was never on lock down and the district strives to maintain a safe and secure environment. But parents say the protocol needs to change.

"I just want to be told the truth. I just want to know the truth. When I call to find out about my child's safety, I don't want to be lied to ever again," Odneal said.

The student remains in juvenile detention. Sheriff Gilbert says the investigation is ongoing.


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