Deltona, FL – After a string of ominous rumors about violence at Pine Ridge High School in Deltona, VCSO conducted an investigation which determined these rumors to be unfounded and fueled by social media.
According to a joint statement released by Volusia County Schools and the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, every time deputies tracked a rumor to its source, the information turned out to be either distorted or based on unconfirmed hearsay.
Last week was spirit week and Wednesday was heritage day. “We had a couple of students who wore letters on their dresses that when they stood together spelled out ‘Trump,'” said Nancy Wait, Community Information Specialist with Volusia County Schools. “Some other students responded with ‘Black Lives Matter’ posters, and it resulted in some verbal confrontation. There was never any physical fight, but out of that came some comments like ‘we ought to be allowed to bring guns to school,’ or something like that. That escalated… was posted on social media… it really got out of control, and what was initially said was never any kind of a threat.” But that post just kept getting shared and re-shared on social media until it got to a point where it affected the campus and got parents concerned about their students safety. One student posted on social media that she wasn’t going to school on Monday because she heard there was going to be a shooting.
Officials say there are no weapons on campus and no arrests have been made. No one has heard anybody make an actual threat of violence.
Extra deputies and district personnel were on campus on Monday to provide extra supervision, but no reports of threats have come in. Officials say what parents seem to be hearing from their children about violence are false rumors.
Students and parents are being urged to think about posting or re-posting social media comments that might contribute to the spread of false rumors or cause unnecessary fear.
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