MANOR, Texas (KXAN) — During a week where parents were already worried about sending their kids into classrooms, Manor Independent School District had to track down a threatening video posted on social media. It resulted in four people being detained.
“It’s because of the quick action of staff members here in the Manor Independent School District that we were able to engage with law enforcement really quickly to ensure that we could get ahead of the situation and the circumstance that is currently undergoing,” Manor Police Chief Ryan Phipps said Thursday.
For a parent of a Manor ISD elementary school student, a combat veteran, it wasn’t rushing to the school and taking his daughter home that was the solution, but instead, it was posting up outside.
“What all soldiers were trained to do is watch,” Hector Ortez said. “I got a kid here, I mean a lot of people have kids here, so that’s why I made the decision to give my wife the peace of mind and be out here all day and just keep an eye out.”
By mid-day, it wasn’t threats circulating on Manor social media pages, it was photos and videos of Ortez standing outside. Parents and community members started to stop by and drop off water and food. Many said Ortez gave them peace of mind too.
“A lot of tears and I just kind of went with it and let them know I was here for the kids,” Ortez said.
As an infantry combat veteran who was deployed to war zones, he said he was mostly there to be a set of eyes, but if he saw something wasn’t right, he says he “definitely would have approached.”
Manor ISD confirmed with KXAN that Ortez had contacted the school and let them know he was there. Because of visitor policy, he was not allowed on the school grounds.
“It was just easy. I didn’t do it for anything. I didn’t do it for attention. I did it for my kid,” Ortez said. “Knowing my kid’s safe in school and that’s it.”
Students with Manor ISD will return early next week to wrap up their school year. Ortez said he’s confident in the police department and still hasn’t decided if he’ll sit outside through the end of the week, but did say, “if there is a threat, I’ll be here.”