Teacher on Leave for Allegedly Spreading Misinformation After Reporting Student Threat

The Waskom Middle School teacher made a TikTok video claiming two students told him another student threatened to shoot him.

Teacher on Leave for Allegedly Spreading Misinformation After Reporting Student Threat

Photo: Sinart Creative, Adobe Stock

WASCOM, Texas — A sixth-grade teacher who was told by students that another student made a threat against him has been placed on administrative leave.

On Jan. 18, Waskom Middle School social studies teacher and football coach Patrick Durbin said two students informed him that another student threatened to shoot him and told them not to come to school, reports Shreveport Times. Durbin said he reported the incident to the principal while a counselor was also present around 2:30 p.m., giving the principal the names of the three students involved.

After school, Durbin went to the district’s high school campus to coach junior high athletics where he learned the student who allegedly threatened him was in the fieldhouse. Durbin said he asked another coach to remove the student while he went into an office and locked the door. The student was removed from the premise.

Around 4 p.m., Durbin said he then contacted a friend who works for the Waskom Police Department to see if anything was being done about the reported threat. The officer allegedly said the school did not communicate a threat to the police.

Later that day, Durbin recounted the incident in a TikTok video that has over 5,300 views.

“You wanna know what’s wrong with education today? Its bad administration and its parents who don’t discipline their kids,” he said.

Durbin also said he wants to go back to his former school district “for the simple fact that I know that my principals and the superintendents and the people I worked with had my back and would protect us at all costs.”

Durbin did not go to work the following day because he said he did not feel safe. He received a phone call from the superintendent that morning asking to meet with him in her office the next day. After the Jan. 20 meeting, Durbin was placed on paid administrative leave for reportedly spreading false information.

In a Facebook post the same day, Waskom ISD said the campus threat assessment team enacted its threat assessment protocol following the reported threat and it was determined that at no time were students or staff in imminent danger. The post also said the school has been working with Waskom Police since the day the threat was reported.

On the day of the reported threat, Waskom ISD also sent out a message to sixth-grade parents, calling the incident an “indirect threat of violence.” Some voiced frustration that the message wasn’t sent to all parents, according to KSLA.

“The lack of communication from administration to parents is just bewildering that they thought it only necessary to notify the sixth-grade parents when this a mixed-grade campus,” said Kyndal McLendon, vice president of the Waskom Middle Parent-Teacher Organization.

Several parents also told KSLA that the student in question has made threats of gun violence before and that they don’t understand why the student was allowed back on campus the next day.

An emergency board of trustees meeting has been requested by parents but no date has been sent. A standard Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for Feb. 13.

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About the Author

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Amy is Campus Safety’s Executive Editor. Prior to joining the editorial team in 2017, she worked in both events and digital marketing.

Amy has many close relatives and friends who are teachers, motivating her to learn and share as much as she can about campus security. She has a minor in education and has worked with children in several capacities, further deepening her passion for keeping students safe.

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