Sonora ISD responded this week to a series of anonymous threats that became more serious and more specific over a two-day span.

Ultimately nothing materialized from the threats which had escalated from general threats to a claim, at one point, that specific buildings would be bombed.

Law enforcement officials ranging from the Sonora Police Department and Sutton County Sheriff’s Office to the Texas Rangers and the FBI were called in to assist with the case. The bomb squad from Midland also responded.

It all began on Monday, November 8th when school officials received an anonymous tip concerning the Sonora secondary campus. The tip came via SISD’s “STOPit” cyber-bullying complaint website. The site allows students to report bullying, cyber abuse, or any other inappropriate behavior.

At that point in time, school authorities determined that no one on the secondary campus was in immediate danger.

A second, more specific, threat came in via the STOPit site shortly after school was dismissed on Monday. Even then, school officials did not believe students, faculty or staff were in immediate danger.

Tuesday morning Sonora ISD Superintendent Michael Kissire and Sonora Secondary Principal Rene Valleriano met with secondary school faculty and staff in order to make them aware of the situation. Teachers were given an opportunity to leave at that time if they felt uncomfortable, but all of the teachers chose to remain on campus.

There was a separate, apparently unrelated incident occurred Tuesday morning, November 9th, on Loop 467 that caused the secondary campus to be placed on lock-down with law enforcement officers being on campus most of the day.

Shortly after school was released on Tuesday, Kissire became aware of another, even more specific threat, a bomb threat, made against two Sonora ISD buildings. Law enforcement authorities were alerted again. Kissire notes that he and members of the SISD board of trustees stayed in close communication into the early hours on Wednesday.

By 7 a.m. Wednesday morning, November 10th, the Midland Bomb Squad and SWAT officers were on site to sweep the buildings. School officials had already decided to delay the start of school that morning so that the campus could be secured.

In the meantime, investigators, working in conjunction with school officials the Region XV Education Service Center, had determined that the threats had been coming from a single individual.

Sonora Police Department Interim Chief Art Fuentes notified Kissire at approximately 5 a.m. on Wednesday that the individual, an unnamed juvenile student, had been taken into custody.

Superintendent Kissire went on the air on KHOS radio in Sonora on Wednesday morning to update the community on what had transpired, and to reassure everyone that students were never in danger and that everything that could be done, had been done to assure the safety of students, faculty and staff.

Kissire also praised local law enforcement, Midland Police Bomb and SWAT, Sonora Fire Department, Sonora EMS, Midland District Attorney, FBI, Texas Rangers, and the Sonora ISD Board of Trustees.

“Everyone was very professional and on point.” Kissire said on the radio. He went on to say that Sonora needs to be so grateful for our board of trustees, it is a thankless job. They too have children, spouses, etc in the school system and are truly top notch.