By FRANCISCO E. JIMENEZ
Three middle school students face state jail felony charges after pulling a fire alarm for non-emergency reasons in two separate incidents.
Both incidents occurred at Miller Jordan Middle School on Wednesday, April 10, according to San Benito CISD Police Chief Santiago R. Garcia.
“There were three girls who were charged,” said Garcia. “One incident occurred during lunch time, and the other one happened about an hour to an hour and a half later where they pulled the alarm again. All three of them were charged with a state jail felony.”
The school district police chief said that while pulling a fire alarm in a non-emergency is a class ‘A’ misdemeanor, doing so in a school elevates the charge to a state jail felony.
Garcia said that it is standard operating procedure to detain the students and contact juvenile authorities, which was the case in this particular situation.
“We don’t arrest them, we detain them and we let the juvenile authorities know what’s going on,” Garcia explained. “It’s up to them to decide whether we release them to their parents and they appear to a juvenile judge at a later date.”
Garcia added that it is not uncommon for students to pull the fire alarm at school, but he also said that this was the first incident to occur this school year.
“That’s why we have the surveillance cameras,” Garcia said. “We can go back and look at the hallways. It will show who or what pulled the fire alarm. This is the first time this has happened all year long, that I can think of.”
The ages and grades to the students involved in the incident were not made available as of presstime.