Parents react to rumors of school violence -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Parents react to rumors of school violence

November 12, 2007

Thomasville--  Traffic continuing throughout the morning, and parking lots less than full were just a couple of signs something was not quite right at Thomas County Central High School Monday morning.  "This morning when I got to school there were cars just leaving out of the parking lot when I was pulling up," says Angel Barfield.  She is just one of the unusually high number of students who checked out of school early today. "One of my friends came up and asked me if I was leaving and I said 'No, why?' and they said 'Everybody else is' because there was a gun threat," Barfield explains.

A suspicious statement involving a student's supposed plan to bring a gun to school was reported to administrators on Friday.  "Of course immediately the administration and our resource officers began to investigate and determined that no threat had been made, and thought that the issue had been resolved," says Thomas County schools superintendent Jean Quigg. 

Administrators say text messaging and myspace were the main sources for rumors that quickly spread over the weekend.  "It had been expanded upon, changed, taken out of context, et cetera. So it was totally unfounded," says Quigg. 

But when parents caught wind of a possible threat, many pulled their kids from school, like Barfields mom.  "She didn't want me there. She asked me what was going on and I said they're trying to say it's a rumor but she was like, you need to leave," Barfield says. 

Administrators say parents have every right to take their child out of school, but in cases like this they discourage it.  "We just want parents to know that we would not have convened school today if we had thought there was any reason at all to be concerned," says Quigg. 

School resource officers will continue to investigate the source of the rumors, and those behind them could face punishment. School administrators urge parents to have their children back in school Tuesday.




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