One Year After Timberview Incident, Mansfield ISD Focuses on Threat Assessment


Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

One year after the incident at Timberview High School, Mansfield ISD develops new positions and departments focused on student safety and threat assessment. Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

9:11 a.m. Six gunshots rang throughout the hallway, three minutes and 59 seconds later. “Timberview High School. Lockdown, Lockdown, Lockdown” rang throughout the halls. When Academic Associate Principal Miguel Garza called the lockdown on Oct. 6, 2021.

“It started as a regular day, I normally stand out at the front of the school greeting students as they are coming in. On that particular day, Mr. Douglas came in and told me his grandbaby was sick, so he would be out for the rest of the day,” Mr. Garza said. “When Mr. Douglas is offcampus, I’m responsible for the campus. I make decisions just like he would if he was on campus.”

Garza continued to walk the hallways ensuring no students or teachers were in the hallway after calling the lockdown. The message “I’m hit” rings Garza’s phone from an English teacher.

“My training told me that I was supposed to lock myself down,” Mr. Garza said. “But that’s just not what I felt like I needed to do at that moment. I needed to get to my English teacher on the second floor.”

According to, school shootings are defined as incidents in which a gun is brandished or fired on school property. During the year 2021, about 193 people were killed or wounded, the most incidents of school shootings on record. In 2022, there were at least 113 incidents of gunfire on school grounds, resulting in 41 deaths and 82 injuries nationally.

“It’s happening too often for us to never experience it in our educational career, it’s going to happen at some point,” Mr. Garza said. “I just never imagined that it would happen two, or three months later.”

School shooting threats are a daily occurrence in schools across the nation. In The School Shooter: A THREAT ASSESSMENT PERSPECTIVE a report released by the FBI, threats on school campuses can be caused for a variety of reasons. A threat may be a warning signal, a reaction to fear of punishment or some other anxiety, or a demand for attention. Threats may be intended to taunt, intimidate, assert power or control, punish, manipulate, terrorize, compel someone to do something, strike back for an injury, injustice, or slight, test authority, or protect oneself. While most people are unlikely to carry out their threats, most are made anonymously or under a false name.

“It’s hard not to start thinking about piecing things together as you’re there because you feel like you failed somebody,” Mr. Garza said. “Not just necessarily the people that were injured or the people that I was sitting with, but even the person that was considered to be the suspect.”

It’s hard not to start thinking about piecing things together as you’re there because you feel like you failed somebody. Not just necessarily the people that were injured or the people that I was sitting with, but even the person that was considered to be the suspect.”

— Mr. Miguel Garza

In response to increased school security measures in schools across the nation, Mansfield ISD implemented the Threat Assessment Process in 2020. A threat assessment is an evidence-based approach to determining how likely a person is to carry out a threat of violence. It is used to identify, assess, and manage individuals who are at risk for violence against others. The process is not associated with discipline. It will not label a student as a troublemaker or enact consequences but rather prevent targeted acts of school violence by providing a safety management plan with supportive interventions for the student. Staff, students and parents can report threats using links spread across school campuses. Mr. Derrell Douglas, Timberview principal, has taken a liking to the threat assessment process.

“I think the threat assessment process is a really good idea,” Mr. Douglas said. “We want to try to identify someone who needs help before they get that far down the road, and hopefully, you can intervene and get them the help they need and prevent anything from happening.”

In preparation for the one-year anniversary of the incident at Timberview, the school will have counselors, extra subs and police to aid in the supervision of students and classrooms through the entirety of the week to support students and staff.

11:14 a.m. The building was clear. Students and staff loaded buses and headed out of the building, single file to the reunification destination, the Performing Arts Center.

“You start feeling defensive because either they’re going to say things about your school that are not true or they’re going to say things about your students that are not true,” Mr. Garza, now principal at The Phoenix Academy, said. “They’re going to start making accusations, things that you did or didn’t do. It was interesting.”