PRC School District, Sheriff’s Department determine report of threat was case of twisted rumors on social media

Published 7:00 am Thursday, February 22, 2018

A report of a potential threat towards students and faculty at the Pearl River Central School District was essentially nothing more than a student reciting lyrics from a song.

A Facebook post by the School District states that the situation has been resolved.

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“All potential threats that have been reported to the School District have been investigated by the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department and there are no viable threats at this time and it is safe to be back in school,” Superintendent Alan Lumpkin said.

Pearl River County School District Police Chief Brandon Herrin said the initial incident involved a middle school student singing a song during break last week, the lyrics of which resulted in the student being sent to the office. When other students discussed the incident while riding a school bus, the rumors spread and the facts were convoluted before being posted to social media. Lumpkin said the District became aware of the rumor after it was posted by a young girl on her Snapchat account.

Herrin said he and county law enforcement officials became aware of the social media post and investigated.

Sheriff David Allison said that after the investigators spoke with the parents of the initial child involved, they walked away feeling that there was no threat.

Lumpkin encourages students, parents and anyone in the community to report any information on potential threats to the School District by contacting the superintendent’s office. Herrin said that every incident of a potential threat will be investigated by his staff.

Lumpkin also encourages parents to have a conversation with their children about the impact of threatening words posted on social media.

“Social media is a powerful communication tool. Please use this tool wisely and appropriately when sending information pertaining to potential threats. Misuse of social media and misinformation placed on social media can desensitize the seriousness of the potential threat,” a post on the Pearl River County School District Facebook page said. “We also ask that you join us each morning in praying for a hedge of protection around our students and staff members.”

To report a threat to the Pearl River County School District, call (601) 798-7744.