SMCISD Superintendent Cardona Releases Letter To Parents Regarding Social Media Rumors

SMCISD Superintendent Cardona Releases Letter To Parents Regarding Social Media Rumors

Staff Reports

On Monday, April 29, Superintendent Michael Cardona of the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District released a letter to parents regarding recent events at San Marcos High School and the use of social media.

Thirty-seven percent of SMCISD’s students stayed home from school Monday after a parent posted on social media there was a threat against the high school.

According to SMCISD, San Marcos Police investigated the threat but found it was unfounded.

Board of Trustee John McGlothlin took to Twitter to thank the police department, SMHS staff and the district’s central administration for everything they do to keep students safe.

“I really appreciate SMPD, the HS staff and central administration for caring about our kids so much. Real Life and Facebook are very different,” McGlothlin said in a tweet after dropping off his student.

Other rumors quickly spread about a recent fight, which occurred last Wednesday, involving weapons such as knives, and included a claim that a student had been stabbed. There were also reports of multiple other fights occurring.

In response to the rumors, Cardona released the following letter.

Dear Rattler Nation,                                                                                                     

Today I write as a concerned parent of a San Marcos Rattler as well as the Superintendent of San Marcos CISD.

Yesterday evening, through social media, one parent spread an unfounded rumor that students were bringing weapons to San Marcos High School today. Within hours, our community responded with considerable anxiety about the safety of their children.

San Marcos Police Department attempted to identify any possible truth to the initial social media post and determined it was not a credible threat. Still, in order to demonstrate that we take any concern about school safety seriously, we opened the high school this morning with eight officers present in support of our students and staff.

Last week, there was a brief fight in the cafeteria where students were disciplined for inciting or participating in the altercation. We took the situation seriously, administered consequences appropriately, and communicated with our families immediately.  Social media posts quickly began speculating about a stabbing on campus. We teach students digital citizenship and counsel them when their online activity creates a school disruption. Adults in our community should hold themselves to that same standard of responsibility.

Unfortunately, the misuse of social media is becoming a trend. As we are more transparent in as timely a manner as possible about incidents that occur on campus, we have seen a rise in negativity and irresponsible social media messages about our students, staff, and district from within our own community. Some use this transparency as an opportunity for speculation and gossip, seeking to damage the reputation of San Marcos CISD schools. In my three years as Superintendent, I have sought to showcase students at the local, regional and state levels. Our student achievements are considerable. Our shared mission should be to uplift San Marcos High School, not minimize the great work displayed by students and staff with unfounded rumors that cause stress on students, staff, and our community. 

As parents, you deserve to know when legitimate incidents occur on a campus. However, the false social media narratives cause unnecessary chaos. I’m asking for our community to come together to make this stop. When you have a campus safety concern, please direct it to the campus itself, iwatchtx.org or the San Marcos PD directly. If we speak negatively about our district on social media, what permission are we giving people outside of San Marcos to say about us?

Whenever I speak on behalf of Rattler Nation, I express pride in the past and present achievements of San Marcos CISD students and teachers. I believe that all of our campuses deserve a safe and peaceful learning environment. I am confident you want that too.

Strike As One! 

Michael A. Cardona

Superintendent of Schools


 

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