A large amount of students left West Morgan School early today because of a possible threat that was circulating on social media.
However, officials told WAAY 31 there was no legitimate threat to the school whatsoever. Instead, they said, false information was shared on Facebook.
About 200 out of 830 students who attend West Morgan School had been checked out by parents by around 1:00 on Thursday, which is almost one-fourth of students going home.
“He said, ‘Can you come and get me?’ And so I text back and said, ‘Are you okay? What is going on?’ And he said ‘Someone threatened to shoot the school,’” Loreen Mason said.
Mason has a sixth and eighth grader at West Morgan School, and when she received an alarming text, she rushed over as fast as she could.
“I just said a prayer and just headed on out," Mason said.
But officials said the threat was not legitimate.
According to West Morgan School Principal Keith Harris, a student made a comment on Tuesday about a video that had no ties to the school in any way; but students misinterpreted the comment, and officials said it spread like wildfire on social media.
But the fact that it wasn’t real didn’t stop parents from checking their kids out of class.
“I’m not worried about if it was real, it’s best to act upon something, you know, don’t take anything for granted these days, because it’s happening so often," Mason said.
However, Mason told WAAY 31, people shouldn’t believe everything they see on social media, and they should always think before posting or sharing something that may not be true.
“People should be very careful," she said. "Call someone in authority first before they go posting all this stuff, because there’s always somebody that’s going to panic.”
And officials said that’s exactly what happened at the school on Thursday.
Principal Harris says the student who was reported making the threat has no past disciplinary record, and he was even at school on Thursday because officials felt he was not a danger in any way.
“I just hope that everything just goes back to normal so that we don’t live in fear," Mason said. "We can’t do that.”
Principal Harris tells WAAY 31, even though there was no threat, he understands why parents came to pick up their kids, and expects Friday to be back to normal.
The Trinity Police Chief tells WAAY 31 the social media posts containing false information will be turned over to the district attorney's office to be investigated, and if they can prove that someone posted the false information intentionally, that person could be charged.