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In the wake of the tragedy in Connecticut, school leaders in West Plains say they're looking into rumors of possible school violence on Friday the 21st.
The district released a statement saying chatter ranged from students bringing guns to school, to a mass student suicide, to a party at the school with drugs and alcohol.
Officials are asking teachers to watch for red flags. They say they're doing everything possible to keep schools safe.
Here's the statement from West Plains Schools:
There have been some rumors circulating in the community about possible school violence on December 21, 2012.
Last week West Plains Schools received some reports about students talking about that date. We treat all threats of violence seriously and investigate them vigorously. After investigating the rumor to its source we concluded there was no threat. In working with the West Plains Police we have now verified it all stemmed back to students wanting to do a flash mob. The students investigated were expressing that they hoped nothing would happen in the world that day but they never mentioned anything specific to West Plains schools. The date is associated with the Mayan calendar as the last day of the world.
With the tragic events in Connecticut last Friday, fears have been heightened in the community. Over the weekend the rumors have expressed a wide variety of concerns: from students bringing guns to school, a mass student suicide, to a party occurring at school with illegal substances. This was done via social media.
Once again we will be investigating all rumors and we will make sure our school is safe for you and our students. If you hear more discussion of these rumors please let us know so we can investigate them fully. If you suspect a student has an issue (emotionally, behaviorally) please let us know immediately so we can help them. We are asking teachers to be extra vigilant this week, in the halls between classes and before school.
We are asking everyone to reassure the students we will be doing everything this week to keep our schools safe. We will be talking to the students about this at lunch on Monday. It was also addressed at today's Christmas choir concert. The safety of our students is our first priority.
If you have any questions please feel free to call and speak to your child's building administrator.
Communications & Community Relations Director
West Plains Schools
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