HIDALGO, Texas – A student at Hidalgo Early College High School asked to bring a fake weapon for a school project is now looking at broken dreams and hard times ahead.
Juan Valdez is facing terrorism charges and spent two nights in jail after he said a teacher gave him permission to bring the toy gun to school for a project prop.
“It was like a crime scene project,” Valdez said . “He told us we could bring fake guns, fake drugs.”
Valdez said his forensic teacher gave him permission when he asked if he could bring the paintball gun, with some bullet casings.
And on the day he brought the gun to school Valdez took a snap chat video showing him walking with the fake weapon, but added on the next snap chat that he was allowed to do so.
“I also put that I had permission that it was for a project, so that no problems would happen,” Valdez said.
Rumors quickly surfaced there is a weapon on school grounds through and the automated message sent to parents with children at Hidalgo I.S.D last week.
“The toy gun has been removed by the student’s possession and under no circumstance where students and staff in any harm’s way,” ended the automated message.
Valdez said one of his classmate saw his post and altered the video, “screen recorded my snap chat and then put threats on there”
The post stating, ‘we have a school shooter everyone be safe’, Valdez was arrested even though he let officers and school officials know he had permission to take the paint ball gun and told him that wasn’t the problem.
“They said that wasn’t the problem, the problem was the video and the threats,” Valdez said.
Valdez was booked into the Hidalgo County jail Thursday and charged with terroristic threat.
His father, also named Juan Valdez, later messaged the boy that edited the video, “he said yes it was my fault, sorry for what I did, I didn’t it expect it to get as big as it did.”
According to Hidalgo I.S.D spokesperson, weapons or fake weapons are not allowed on school grounds.
“Appropriate administrative action was taken against the teacher,” said Jennifer Villareal, Hidalgo I.S.D spokesperson.
Valdez said he’s stayed away from trouble all his life so one day he could work in law enforcement, ” to reach my dreams, like my family, to follow their footsteps and because of one problem that it wasn’t even my fault all of that is just going to go down and all of this hard work for nothing.”
Due to the incident, school district officials pulled Valdez out of the high school and placed him in a academy for troubled students.
The Valdez family hopes to work with the school and law enforcement to clear his son’s charges.