Local School Officials Act To Counter Social Media Rumors Of Violence

WACO (December 20, 2012)—Waco ISD administrators acted Thursday to quell viral rumors on Facebook about impending violence Friday at University High School that generated a number of phone calls from worried parents and Rockdale ISD officials cancelled Friday classes altogether because of similar rumors.

In a letter to parents, Waco ISD Superintendent Dr. Bonny Cain said the district is aware of the rumors and is “actively following up on leads that even hint of substance.”

“When appropriate, practical, and within reason, added or enhanced security measures are being implemented,” Cain said in the letter.

(Read The Letter )

In response to the rumors and the concern they’ve generated, University High School officials are planning to restrict access to the school Friday, which is an early-dismissal day.

Students will be allowed to enter only through the side door leading to the student parking lot and the rear bus drop-off entrance.

No access will be permitted through the front doors of the school.

Meanwhile Rockdale ISD administrators canceled classes altogether Friday partly in response to “improper and inaccurate comments and social media discussions of possible threats” that created disruptions on district campuses,” a message on the district’s Web site said.

Police and school officials investigated the comments and “established that all campuses are safe and that these comments are inaccurate,” the statement said.

“School attendance has been dramatically affected over the last few days with student and staff illnesses including flu, stomach virus, and flu-like symptoms. The number of students that are out ill combined with the continued disruption on school campuses has prompted Rockdale ISD to cancel classes on Friday, December 21 in the best interest of students and staff,” the statement said.

Friday is the last day of class before the Christmas break and it’s also the end of the 5,125-year Mayan calendar cycle, which some have associated with an apocalyptic event.

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