Walker County sheriff's deputies were at Rossville Middle this morning and have taken two juveniles into custody, according to Elaine Womack, coordinator of public information for Walker County Schools.
A series of “unconfirmed allegations with rumors and misinformation had surfaced on social media,” Womack said.
Rumors of an eighth-grade fight at Rossville Middle were “all over Facebook” on Tuesday, according to one parent in an email. “It was also rumored that a gun was going to be brought to school.”
School officials like principal Glen Brown at Rossville Middle are “taking the allegations seriously” and “carrying out a thorough investigation through students and parents to find the facts of the matter,” Womack said.
According to a text from a Rossville Middle School student, the school was more or less on lock-down. Students are having lunch in their classrooms. Teachers are walking students from class to class.
The rumors and comments were rampant enough to prompt school officials to disable comments on the school’s Facebook page.
“Persons with pertinent information should report directly to school officials who will investigate any concerns,” Womack said.
At Ridgeland High School specific students were implicated in the Facebook comments, which led to a search of that school also. No weapons were found as the rumors implied.
“We have had absolutely nothing happen here,” principal Robert Smith said.
Teachers and administrators are focused on the scheduled End of Course Testing (EOCT) taking place today.
“Some students have checked out, but it is not excessive,” Smith said regarding students leaving in light of the rumors. “Some students may be taking advantage of the rumors to get out of school.”
The EOCT testing counts, on average, about 20 percent of a student’s grade in a class and could possibly be the motivating factor the rumors were started.
“Uninterrupted instructional time, especially during state-mandated testing, is essential to student academic success,” Womack said. “We appreciate student and parent support.”
Both schools have continued with their planned daily activities following the morning search.