Cleveland Middle School student expelled for terroristic threat

Cleveland Middle School (file photo)

A seventh-grade Cleveland Middle School student was expelled on Monday, April 17, after he allegedly made a threat of violence in an online group chat with friends. The threat was revealed to Cleveland ISD administrators after a note was left on a teacher’s desk warning that there was going to be trouble at the school.

“Another student got wind of what was being planned and he wanted to warn someone that the other student was planning some kind of attack on the school,” said Susan Ard, Cleveland communications director.

School district police were asked to investigate the incident and found that the student had actually noted the location of all security cameras and the average response time by local police officers.

“I can’t go into too much detail about what he mentioned as this is an active investigation,” said CISD Police Chief Angela Allen.

The student was arrested and charged with Terroristic Threat. No weapons were found despite an exhaustive search of the campus. Cleveland ISD Superintendent Stephen McCanless has expelled the student through the end of 2023 and will have the opportunity to expel him again in December if it is believed he remains a threat to the school district, said Chief Allen.

The case will eventually be handled through the Liberty County Attorney’s Office. Assistant County Attorney Kathrine McCarty told Bluebonnet News that the County Attorney’s Office takes cases like this seriously.

“Ultimately, whatever the nature of the case is, we would hope that this student gets whatever help he needs. I’ve had our mental health officers reach out to the school district,” she said. “The juvenile justice system promotes rehabilitation. Ultimately the goal is for this child to get mental health assistance and become a productive member of society.”

Chief Allen said this student has had no prior issues at the campus.

“This is the first time we’ve ever had a student with a detailed plan for an attack. He had been a good student prior to this, so we think he may have made a poor choice. I don’t think he has been in trouble before,” she said.

She suggested that parents and guardians talk to their students about the power of their words and how they should be careful what they say.

“We are living in a time after 9/11, so you can’t threaten to bomb an airport. Since all of the school shootings have happened, those are taken seriously as well. In this day and time, we take any and all threats seriously while they are being investigated,” she said. “The students should know that even though you might be joking with your friends, a message on social media is still out there. You can’t take it back. Once you place someone in fear that something is going to happen, then you are in trouble.”

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.


  1. Even though there is cameras and a deputy is watching these monitors. I don’t understand how something like this gets passed up., as well as the vaping or smoking marijuana. Happened at my children school too about 2 weeks ago. Santa Fe area.

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