Hunter’s gunfire suspected in Spicewood Elementary School phone outage

FROM STAFF REPORTS

SPICEWOOD — School administrators and area law enforcement have joined forces to provide communications and security resources after a suspected gun blast Sept. 3 damaged a fiber optic line which serves Spicewood Elementary School, officials said.

“A hunter severed the line,” said Marble Falls Independent School District communications coordinator Bruce Peckover. “We’re working on a solution to get the line repaired.”

The launch of dove season was Sept. 1.

School officials discovered the loss of phone and internet service that morning when children and educators returned from the Labor Day holiday.

The school is located just off Spur 191, about a mile north of Texas 71. A county official confirmed the incident involved a shotgun blast to a pole carrying the line and occurred on private property just off CR 404.

The Spicewood area is unincorporated.

Officials used the First Alert System, a reverse phone-calling system, to notify parents of about 200 students, Peckover said.

“Because of the absence in communications, Marble Falls (Police Department), Burnet County Sheriff’s Office and the Constable are increasing their presence,” he said. “Parents can be reassured that their children are in a safe and productive learning environment.”

Phone calls have been re-routed to the administration office, which then relays messages via cell phone to Spicewood educators.

Teachers who need to contact parents can do so by cell phone, Peckover said.

“They’re still connected out there,” he said. “Cell phones are all over the campus.”

In the meantime, educators have found alternative modes of communication.

“Most of the teachers have internet so they have access on their smart phones and on their home computer,” Peckover said.  “You just adjust to the old-fashioned systems. It should be a short-term interruption.”

editor@thepicayune.com

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