Webb County Youth Village provides support to problematic students

Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 4:03 PM CDT
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WEBB COUNTY, TX. (KGNS) - Since the start of the new school year, several school threats have been reported in the Gateway City.

On Monday, United I.S.D. officials investigated a threat at Alexander High School that turned out to be false.

While the case remains under investigation, a center that helps rehabilitate minors is speaking out on what they are seeing.

Formally known as the Juvenile Detention Center, the Webb County Youth Village is located in east Laredo on Highway 359.

Many of the underage kids who are caught making school threats are sometimes housed at the facility; however, officials want to inform the public that their overall goal is to help them and get them back on track.

Jerry Liendo, the director of the Webb County Youth Village said every kid that goes to the center spends their time inside a classroom learning while others receive medical attention.

Whenever a minor is in trouble, there is a process before they land at the village.

According to Liendo, the case will go to one of the three county court of law judges and depending on the evidence, they can be charged as a minor or an adult.

Due to the ongoing school threats, Liendo said they have seen an increase in kids being taken to the village.

He believes that social media plays a factor for the boost of intake at the center.

“I think that the only increase that we’ve seen so far is of course all over social media is that these kids that are I guess making threats to the school, so that is a concern for us when these kids would brought in,” said Liendo. “If they are brough into the detention center will take the necessary action to address the issue, especially if they do have any needs.”

Depending on the child’s behavior and the case, Liendo said they work with several entities to the service the minor’s needs.

Also depending on the severity of the crime, the minor can stay at the center for an extended period of time and potentially be transferred to the Webb County Jail.

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