Rumor brings out school security - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Rumor brings out school security

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September 22, 2006

Sylvester -- Rumors of violence at Worth County Schools prompted some parents to pull children from classes, and police to closely watch campus.  

The rumor was triggered by a fight at Worth County Middle School Thursday, and while nothing happened today, parents were worried and police were ready.  

According to the rumor, if you weren't wearing black, you'd be shot or stabbed. Although, just a rumor, school officials weren't taking any chances.

Police manned the school earlier, and some parents even pulled their children from the classroom.   The persistent rumors prompted some worried parents to pull the children out of school this morning.

"There wasn't people wanting to kill each other, shooting each other because of the way they dressed, the way they acted, or the way they looked. I mean, it's getting ridiculous," said Sarah Giddens, whose daughter attends the seventh grade at Worth Middle School.

The rumor had many children, like her own, too afraid to even go to class.   "She was scared she was upset and crying and stuff."    

The rumor started yesterday after a fight involving several "Gothic" kids. The group supposedly vowed to get revenge on anyone different from them. "They were supposed to shoot all the kids that were wearing white," said Giddens.

The school isn't taking the rumors lightly. Today, several officers with the Sylvester Police Department monitored the school closely.  "We brought some officers to watch the kids when they got off the school buses, get out the cars, wish just checked them, mainly just being here in case we were needed," said Sylvester Police Chief Tony Strenth.

And Strenth says, fortunately, they were not. "Everything was quiet, everything was fine."

Giddens was one of the few parents who didn't fall for the hype and sent her child to school. "I told her just to call me if there was anything that come up or anything."

 She hopes students attending the school learn how quickly rumors get of hand and, most importantly, students learn to accept each other for who they are. "I just hope everything will settle down and everybody will get a long to stop all this nonsense."  

The several students involved in yesterday's fight have all been suspended from school, and will also face juvenile charges for fighting. 

To make sure the students and faculty at the school feel safe, Police Chief Tony Strenth says several officers may patrol the school Monday if the district deems it necessary.

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