Spreading the word

Spread of rumors increases amongst SHS

On Nov. 15, an SHS student brought a weapon to school, an event that eventually influenced a false weapon threat that spread through social media by that Friday. Staff investigated the threat, but found nothing of significance.

Although there hasn’t been an increase in the amount of weapons found at SHS according to Principal Brian Knight, the school has seen an increase in the spread of rumors and misinformation concerning weapon threats.

“It has been rare over my time at SHS that we find a weapon on a student during the school day,” Knight said. “I think we have seen an increase of rumors from social media posts over the past few years, but those have never turned into us finding a weapon at school.”

In a time where school threats are taken more and more seriously, school administration tries to do everything possible to cooperate with law enforcement and thoroughly investigate all threats and rumors, even if they turn out to be just that. Additionally, school administration has increased their efforts to communicate with student families and keep them informed if there are threats.

According to Knight, the spread of false rumors such as these make for a very time-consuming situation for school administration, seeing as it is standard that they investigate every threat thoroughly.

“It takes a great deal of time to coordinate with law enforcement and interview students when we hear rumors,” Knight said. “It is time we are willing to spend, but it does take a great deal of time from our admin team when we have misinformation spread in the building.”

Although investigations often lead to dead ends, Knight is grateful for student awareness and willingness to come forward when they hear of potential threats.

But in a very connected world, it is probably impossible to completely stop misinformation.

— Principal Brian Knight

“We try to communicate what we can with staff and families to prevent this,” Knight said. “But in a very connected world, it is probably impossible to completely stop misinformation.”

Even though the school takes steps to prevent rumors, sophomore Khai Ward has heard other people talk about weapon threats frequently. Although he hasn’t been faced with them directly, hearing about the threats creates a more uneasy school environment for Ward. 

“It does kind of make me uncomfortable about my surroundings and who I’m with and who I can be around safely,” Ward said. “But I just try to get through the day.”