Social media claims lead to student protest at Dougherty High - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Social media claims lead to student protest at Dougherty High

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Social media rumors lead to chaos in the hallways at Dougherty High School. The school was never placed on lockdown, but teachers were asked to shut their doors after a group of 20 to 30 students started protesting in the cafeteria and hallways.

One student was arrested, accused of threatening a police officer.

The school day got off to a rough start, and started with rumors spreading on social media that the school's dance line, basketball team, and band would be cut.

Chants of "we want Randolph" rang out in the hallways of Dougherty High. The disruption started in the cafeteria and moved into the hallways Friday morning. 

The students were upset about Ty Randolph's resignation as coach of the boys' basketball team.

"We need Coach Randolph," said student Eric Gulley. "Coach Randal is one of the best coaches we ever had. Ever since he came, the school, the basketball team really changed."

The team also used two ineligible players this year.  They had to forfeit games, the school was fined, and the team was banned from playoffs in the next season.

Apparently, that led to rumors posted on social media claiming the basketball program, band, and dance line were all being eliminated.

"We just encourage people before they share something, make sure it coming from a legitimate source," said school system official J.D. Sumner.

School officials say that the rumor was not true.

"All the other programs, dance, band, as far as we know, they haven't been affected by anything and they will continue operating as normal," said Sumner. "There may be some shifts in programs as typically happens through the school years."

Administrators tried to explain that, but some students still had to be sent home for refusing to settle down.

"Those students have been sent home, we have asked their parents to come and pick them up or the ones that could drive have been sent home," said Sumner.

People are cautioned on what they post on social media.

"We just encourage people before they share something, make sure it coming from a legitimate source," said Sumner. "If they want more information please contact folks at the school."

School officials say they only had to send a few students home, and only one arrest was made.

Copyright 2016 WALB. All rights reserved.

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