Spring High School reopens 5 days after deadly stabbing

Spring High School students return amid high security
September 9, 2013 3:29:50 PM PDT
Spring High School was back open today, the first day classes were held since a student was fatally stabbed there last week.

District officials say the school had about 60 percent of the student body attending class today amid tighter security. That's about 3,062 students. At least 34 officers were on duty inside and along the perimeter of Spring High School. There are usually only three.

"I'm kind of nervous about what's going to happen in the halls," said student Jacob Everitt.

Student Dontrell Griffin said, "I'm kind of concerned that stuff like this might happen again."

"I have a lot of friends who are super, super worried about it," said student Sam Hall.

There was no way to mask raw emotions of young teenagers returning to Spring High School for the first time since one of their classmates, Joshua Broussard, 17, was stabbed to death in the cafeteria.

"It's going to be different knowing he died in this school," said student Erika Casorla. "We're walking through the hallways where he died."

The last time they were all here, they were on lockdown for five hours.

Student Kevin Espinoza said, "We had a tragic day on Wednesday, so hopefully we're all normal today."

It is a new normal. Students must now carry clear or mesh backpacks, girls' purses must be smaller than a loaf of bread and there are two temporary metal detectors for them to walk through at the start of each day this week.

Spring ISD officials say that parents alerted them that clear backpacks are not easy to find right now. So school leaders located a supply of clear backpacks. The district is waiting on confirmation of this week's delivery date from the vendor. There will be no cost to the students for the backpacks. Until the backpacks arrive, students may use large clear ziplock-type bags.

"I don't like it because we're going to have to go through a lot," said student Ruby Rapalo. "But I do like it because we're going to be safer."

The increase in uniformed law enforcement is drastic. Spring ISD police, and deputies from Precinct 4 and the Harris County Sheriff's Office are stationed at every entrance to the school and in nearby parking lots and neighborhoods.

"Every officer who was scheduled off today, we've called them in," said Spring ISD Police Chief Victor Mitchell. "Anyone who worked on the night shift, we held them over."

Students can only use two front entrances. Back gates that used to be open are now inaccessible.

"We were supposed to go through the back and they already locked the gates so we had to walk all the way around."

The changes are a sad reminder of what happened on campus Wednesday. But there is a lot of prayer, for Joshua Broussard and for each other.

"They're just quiet," said music teacher Maristel Zedillo. "It's very different. I'm used to rowdy teenagers, even at 6:30 in the morning, but they're just in a different state."

Spring ISD's police chief also said he has additional officers assigned to DeKaney and Westfield high schools. Police are also monitoring social media to gauge any sort of threats or rumors.

The portable metal detectors will be used this week. After that they will be used periodically or randomly.

Meanwhile, the Spring High Lions football game against the Dekaney Wildcats that was scheduled for 7pm Friday, Sept. 13 is now scheduled for 4pm Saturday, Sept. 14. Volleyball games scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 10 have been moved to Kingwood High School. There will be an increased law enforcement presence at the athletic events.

CHARGES FILED

Luis Alonzo Alfaro, a 17-year-old student, has been charged with murder in the stabbing that left 17-year-old Joshua Devon Broussard dead on the floor of a school corridor on Wednesday.

Investigators say Alfaro told them the fight began when he bumped a different youth in the school cafeteria. But Harris County Sheriff's Office investigators said Thursday that gang rivalry appears to be the motive in the slaying.

Alfaro is jailed on $150,000 bond.

MEMORIAL HELD FOR SLAIN STUDENT

A memorial service for a teenager stabbed to death was marred by a fight and gunfire, according to police.

The altercation Sunday night just after 8 pm at Spring Baptist Church sent teenagers and other attendees scrambling for cover in the pews.

According to the Harris County Sheriff's Department, gunshots were fired outside the church. No injuries were reported and no arrests were made.

Funeral services for Broussard were held today at 11am at Spring Baptist Church.

HIGH SCHOOL REACHES OUT TO PARENTS

Spring High School's principal is planning a series of meetings for parents to voice security concerns.

A message went out to parents and was posted on the district's website announcing six meetings starting Wednesday.

Parents can register on the school's website or by calling the high school. There is room for 75 people at each meeting.

The principal wrote in the message that the school will schedule more meetings if the demand is high enough.

Take ABC13 with you!
Download our free apps for iPhone, iPad and Android devices


Load Comments