HOUSTON – At least 14 Houston Independent School District schools received envelopes Friday containing a white powdery substance, according to an HISD spokesperson.
A Houston Fire Department hazmat team was sent to each school to collect the envelopes.
Preliminary testing showed the substance appeared to be non-hazardous. The powder was tested for radiation, explosives and volatile chemicals and further tests are being conducted.
The schools were Alcott Elementary, Almeda Elementary, Anderson Elementary, Ashford Elementary, Attucks Middle School, Barrick Elementary, Bastian Elementary, Black Middle School, Blackshear Elementary and Browning Elementary.
Fonville Middle School, Briar Meadow Elementary School, Bellaire High School and Burbank Middle School were added to the list Friday evening.
HISD said its top priority is making sure all schools are safe before students return on Monday.
"All of our school administrators are going through their mail and are trying to identify any envelopes that may look suspicious," said HISD Police Chief Jimmie Dotson.
The typewritten envelopes were addressed to the schools, not individuals, and contained no notes. Each contained about a teaspoon of white powder.
All but one of the schools to have received an envelope began with the letters “A” or “B.”
The FBI, U.S. Postal Service, Houston Police Department and HFD are assisting HISD with the investigation.
Some parents at Bellaire High School expressed concern about the mysterious envelopes.
“You don’t want to ever feel threatened or think that your child is threatened in any way,” said Kenneth Isaac.
Another parent said she was relying on her faith to protect her kids.
“Every day before I drop them off, I pray,” said Temitope Falodun. “I pray for the children in this school. And the fact that the envelope was uncovered is a positive thing.”
Because next Monday is a federal holiday, mail won’t be delivered to the schools until Tuesday.
The postal service plans to screen all letters addressed to HISD schools.
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