Midlands high school denies ‘debunked’ threat after social media rumors

·2 min read

A Midlands high school stressed Friday that there was no danger to students after a swirl of rumors on social media and an earlier communication referencing a “threat.”

Chapin High School sent out a letter to parents late Friday to “clarify” an earlier message that led some to worry about campus safety.

A letter sent home Thursday said school administration was aware of a threat made by a student. “The student was quickly identified and any potential risk of danger has been resolved,” the letter said, adding the student had been disciplined and law enforcement made aware of the situation.

A spokesman for the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department said, “We debunked what was initially investigated as a threat on social media. After our review, we determined there was no credible threat to the school or any individual on campus.”

But social media buzzed Friday with rumors a student had a gun on campus, and many parents said they had pulled their children out of class early as a precaution. So the school sent out another message on Friday.

“I regret that I used the term ‘threat,’ as it does not accurately describe the incident,” Principal Michael Ames said in the letter. “The use of the term “threat” has unfortunately created the impression that the incident involved a weapon or gun, or danger to the safety of the students, staff or the school. This was not the case at any time.”

The tension at Chapin High comes just days after four students were killed in a shooting at a Michigan high school, putting student safety and the possibility of gun violence back in the national spotlight.

Local school districts in the Midlands have highlighted the safety measures they have taken to prevent a similar tragedy from happening in South Carolina.