ODESSA, Tx. (KOSA) -- UPDATE 9:40PM 10/10
The following is a news release from Ector County I.SD.
Our Ector County ISD police continue to investigate the incident at Permian High School. We are asking students with information to please contact ECISD police tomorrow at 456-9999 or go to see any PHS administrator. We want to reiterate, and police have confirmed this through multiple witnesses, there were no shots fired in PHS.
"Our entire community has been through a very traumatic time and that is being felt acutely at Permian High School this week. Extra officers will be at the school tomorrow, as will counselors who are ready to talk with students or family members. We want to encourage all families to make time to talk about these things. If you notice a change in your child’s behavior call a counselor, teacher or principal. We want parents and students to feel their schools are safe places to learn and grow. We are committed to that. Together we will get through these difficult days and be stronger."
"There was a lot of confusion here this morning," Ector County ISD Communications Officer Mike Adkins said.
He confirmed that a fire alarm pulled at Permian High School caused students and staff to evacuate around 10:20 a.m. on Thursday.
"With kids running for the exits as well, there were classrooms that heard there was an emergency in the school so they went to lockdown procedures. So, we had a lot of confusion on campus," Adkins explained.
Multiple agencies responded including armed Odessa Police officers.
They were called in to help investigate after rumors began circling around about a possible gun on campus.
ECISD said there was no shooting at Permian, but this chaos comes on the heels of a student being found with a gun on campus less than 24 hours prior.
Adkins said parents have brought up the idea of installing metal detectors in schools, and the district is open to new safety measures.
"If the community really wants to see it, and I think they at the very least want it discussed, we're good with that. We have a safety and security committee that takes those things and evaluates them," Adkins said. "The only thing I say in response to that, is that it takes more than the decision today that's what we want to do and tomorrow to have them in place. There's a lot that goes along with it."
Adkins explains several things have to be considered first, such as:
1. Would a metal detector be put at every entrance at each high school?
2. Are we talking about every single school?
3. How many security officers would it require?
But for now, two big questions remain unanswered: Why do these threats and gun incidents keep happening in Ector County Schools? And how do you stop it?
"I think it's going to take us as a school district, teachers, officials, but also the parents and the community members in town," Adkins explained. "We really need parents to know exactly what your kids are putting in a backpack when they leave for school. And if that means you have to be a nosey parent who picks up the backpack and goes through it - we really need you to do that."
Law enforcement agencies cleared from the high school around 1:00 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, but the investigation into a possible gun being seen on campus continues with police still interviewing students.
ECISD is asking for students who saw or know anything to come forward to police.
UPDATE: Ector County ISD says that there was no shooting at Permian on Thursday morning but their officers are looking into a report that a student had a gun. They say that the report is unconfirmed at this time.
The following comes from ECISD:
"We want to give you an update on the situation at Permian High School. Officers are in the process of clearing the building. We want to emphasize: there was no active shooter and the campus is safe.
We have heard a report that a student had a gun. Our officers are investigating that. They are asking any students who saw anything to please contact them right away. That is unconfirmed at this point.
During the morning, the fire alarm was pulled causing some students to run from the school. Others followed the evacuation procedures. There were some classrooms that went into lockdown. The situation was very confused. Order is now restored. We will send more as we learn more."
A fire alarm being pulled at Permian High School caused students and staff to be evacuated on Thursday morning.
The following comes from ECISD:
"IMPORTANT: Within the last 30 minutes the fire alarm was pulled at Permian High School. As students and staff evacuated, we heard rumors of some sort of emergency inside the school. Nothing is substantiated. Police are at the school. Updates to come.
According to the CBS7 reporter at the scene, students are being picked up by their parents.
We will be updating this story throughout the day as we learn more.