Update: Marshall Middle School Mom's Shoot-'Em-Up Threat Not Surprising, Says Former Employee
A former employee tells Hair Balls that the incident involving a mom who threatened to shoot up Marshall Middle School is just the tip of the iceberg at the "troubled and confused" institution.
"When I was there, there were a lot of pissed-off parents coming in every day and the administration didn't know how to handle it," says the ex-employee, who we'll call Alison. "I fear something worse is going to happen there soon."
As planned on April 27, Lori Cotton-Noel showed up to the Marshall campus to discuss the bullying of her daughter, who attends the school at 1115 Noble.
Not planned was Cotton-Noel's level of aggro when she snapped at a Marshall assistant principal during the meeting. When Cotton-Noel displayed a gun clip, it probably fell into the "we really did not plan for that at all" category.
Cotton-Noel, who has been banned from all Houston Independent School District campuses, later accepted probation for the unlawful carrying of a weapon.
Alison, along with concerned parents who spoke with KPRC, is critical of the way school officials handled the incident.
Instead of securing the premises on Thursday, the day that Cotton-Noel flipped out, Marshall staff locked down the school for 45 minutes the next day on Friday. At the time, school officials feared that Cotton-Noel, who hadn't been apprehended, would return.
Later that day, administrators sent a letter home with students detailing the incident, which, at that point, had happened more than 24 hours before.
As of the time this post was published, a request for comment from Marshall Middle School Principal Michael Harrison had not been returned. Jason Spencer of HISD told Hair Balls that in terms of the Cotton-Noel event, he's unaware of similar incidents happening at Marshall.
Alison says that the "ridiculously slow response" to the Cotton-Noel debacle is typical for Marshall and models an episode that happened during her tenure.
According to Alison, a seventh grader was raped on campus. In response, Marshall staff informed the parents of the victim "and that's it," explains Alison. "They didn't tell any other parent because they didn't want the school to look bad. Meanwhile, the rapist was still on the loose."
It was only a few days later when the alleged perpetrator was captured that parents and students found out about the troubling event, says Alison.
Update: HISD spokesperson Spencer says that contrary to our report, a student was not sexually assaulted at the Marshall Middle School campus.
"This statement is patently false. Earlier this year, a female student told police she was sexually assaulted at a weekend house party off campus. No Marshall students were accused of assaulting the student and the party, which was attended by non-students. Therefore, there would have been no reason for the principal to notify parents about the incident."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.